HELENA — The Helena area Knights of Columbus donated over 2,000 granola bars, 1,048 juice pouches, and fruit cups to the Helena Food Share to go towards the non-profit's 'Kid Packs.' The Knights of Columbus said they wanted to do a project for Columbus Day that could benefit the community, which led them to the idea of asking for these donations to go to the Helena Food Share program.
"We talked at our meeting, 'Well, what could we do?' and it was suggested that we could do something for [Helena] Food Share," said Montana Knights of Columbus secretary, Marty Beatty. "So, I came and talked to Kim [Dale] at Food Share here, and she suggested something for the kids packs would be really good."
The goal the Knights of Columbus set out to get was 1,000 granola bars and 1,000 juice boxes and fruit cups, but being able to get more than that was not exactly a surprise to those involved.
"I'm really not surprised. I know the hearts of these men and they are loving men. We care about kids," said Helena Knights of Columbus Faithful Navigator, Darvin Eckhart. "For these guys to knock it out of the park. I'm not surprised at all."
The food donated on Monday will go to Helena Food Share's 'kid packs' as a way to help bridge the gap in meals for kids who are at risk of hunger.
"Kid packs provide a little bag basically of snacks and small meal kinds of foods that kids can access themselves and have over the weekend to be able to take care of those food needs," said Bruce Day, executive director for the Helena Food Share. "We couldn't do it without the help of groups like this, coming forward and giving us granola bars, 1000 at a time, or juice boxes, a couple 1000 at a time. That goes to put those items in the sacks for kids to take home on weekends, so we couldn't do it without them."
Beatty also mentioned that the Knights of Columbus is also planning a similar project for Veterans Day, later this year.
"Our project for Veterans Day is to deliver meals in a can. Chili, ravioli, chunky soup, and we'll deliver that to the Veterans Home or [Fort Harrison] or some veterans affiliation," said Beatty.
Though the Knights of Columbus may have set a high bar, anyone can help.
"Anyone can donate at any time food can also donate financially, if they want to contribute to the kid pack program," said Day.
"Bring it right down here [to the Helena Food Share]. Go to your local church. I know all of the parishes the Catholic parishes in the Helena Valley have a food share program," said Eckhart.