GREAT FALLS — The gymnasium at Giant Springs Elementary School in Great Falls was full of activity Friday morning - as volunteers filled boxes with food such as turkey, ham, corn, pumpkin pie, and potatoes, all ready to be delivered to families in need.
One by one, volunteers quickly filled cardboard boxes on the gym floor with everything you might want for a traditional holiday feast.
"We've been able to provide over 30 meals for families over the holiday break,” said Drew Uecker, the principal at Paris Gibson Education Center.
Meals for people like Julius Rodriguez, who said: "It helps people a lot (who are) in need. It's very good from the heart."
Rodriguez explained, "I've got family coming over and now I can invite my friends over and we all can eat from that box. I think they're going to chow down on the turkey. Two turkeys, there's two of them, and a ham and a pork shoulder and rice and beans."
This was the second year volunteers have conducted this event; the food was donated by community members and businesses, including Electric City Coffee, Hutterite colonies, and a "secret Santa."
Uecker said the holiday meals are just a small portion of what the school district gives kids over the winter break.
"We're over 70 percent poverty at Paris, so our kids need food. During the break, if they need food they can come in. But our community is absolutely exceptional in dealing with and helping us feed kids that absolutely need it. We'll give out well over 20,000 pounds of food this year,” Eucker explained.
If you weren’t able to contribute to the event but would still like to help, you can donate to the school district’s food pantries or make a donation to the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation.