HELENA — There was a buzz of activity at Helena Food Share’s Lewis Street Pantry Monday, as they completed their annual Thanksgiving meal distribution.
“These kind of days bring a lot of gratitude for what we have and what we’re able to do to help people out,” said executive director Bruce Day.
For the second year in a row, Food Share did a curbside distribution. Staff and volunteers filled shopping carts with everything needed for a holiday meal, from potatoes and stuffing to fresh vegetables and bread – and, of course, a turkey to top it off. They then delivered the food to families in their vehicles.
“We’ve had to change things operationally, but if you just see the people that are lined up in their vehicles on the street who need and want that help with a holiday box, we’re here and we’re able to provide it,” Day said.
Food Share distributed more than 600 meals over the weekend, during events at the pantry on Saturday and at Saint Mary Catholic Community on Sunday. Day expected another 600 to go out on Monday, bringing the total to around 1,200 – close to the usual number they deliver.
The distribution comes after Food Share’s annual Turkey Challenge drive on Friday. This year, the event was again held online, with community members giving cash donations in place of frozen turkeys. They donated enough to pay for 3,046 holiday meals – enough to cover not only Thanksgiving, but Christmas distributions as well, and to keep helping people into the new year.
“We’re really grateful for the help that the community has put forward to be able to make sure that there’s food available – good food, healthy food, a nice, good holiday basket that we can provide to people who are in need,” said Day.
You can find more information about Helena Food Share’s programs, including how to donate, on their website (https://helenafoodshare.org/).