Every year, the Great Falls chapter of Daughters Of The American Revolution have a service day. This year, they've partnered with the Vet Center to help restock their shelves. The Vet Center in downtown Great Falls serves a few people each week, so they constantly need to keep their shelves full of food for those that need it.
Kelly Smith has been director of the Vet Center at 615 Second Avenue North for five months and is already seeing a rise in need in that short time. She's worked with the center before and says donations like this are critical. She added they see people daily at times coming in to make requests.
"I've been director for about five months and was a counselor here before that, and the need is just getting bigger," Smith said. "We try to help everyone we can, regardless of if they're eligible or not for our services. We just ask people what they need and try to get it to them."
Their food pantry is critical for those that use it, and they're getting a big boost from a food drive. Because the pantry is federally funded, they cannot directly request donations, but the DAR and others help when they can.
"I've noticed just since the pandemic, the need has risen. We rely for people to to make these kinds of donations. And for DAR to come and provide this as part of their service to the community is wonderful because it also helps us continue to take care of our veterans," Smith said.
The Food Drive is for the DAR'S Annual Day of Service Project, which celebrates their 132nd anniversary this year. Each year, they look to assist the community and say, helping the Vet center can help address a growing need with food prices on the rise.
"What we do is we try to find a need in the community," DAR chapter regent Selene Thomas said. "It's extremely important because it's a pantry and a lot of these vets are in transition. They're homeless. They're in definite need."
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