COVID-19 Further Process Changes

MARCH 27, 2020

MISSOULA FOOD BANK & COMMUNITY CENTER:  COVID-19 FURTHER PROCESS CHANGES

As our country and community continue to weather this challenging time, our food bank is doing all we can to protect the community we care so much about and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Directive, we are temporarily suspending all volunteer shifts inside our building. We will continue to utilize volunteers for our senior home delivery program, ROOTS.

While we are endlessly grateful for the number of people who are willing to help in a time of unprecedented need, we are also committed to doing our part in preventing community spread, and are therefore making hard choices on how to proceed.

Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, hours of operation will be as follows:

Monday: 10am-7pm
Tuesday: 10am-7pm
Wednesday: 10am-1pm
Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: Closed

Doors will not open before the stated times. Our waiting room is closed.

EmPower Place will be open for grab-and-go meals only at the above listed times. The center is closed for play.

We would like to remind visitors and our community that MFB&CC is an emergency service in the best of times, and we will continue to meet our community’s needs during these challenging times.

MFB&CC is suspending the acceptance of food donations and asking those who want to contribute to provide financial assistance. Visit https://bit.ly/3adpse8 to donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund. 

For the health and safety of our staff and customers, food donations will be suspended for the foreseeable future.

Further information will be provided via our Facebook and web pages as our community navigates this situation together.  Thank you for your ongoing support.  Together, we nourish community.

Food for All and How it Works

UPDATED FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020

Emergency food services at Missoula Food Bank & Community Center are available for anyone and everyone, and getting food is free, simple, and confidential.

For the foreseeable future, here’s how it works: Come in through the front doors of our Food Bank at 1720 Wyoming St. during our food distribution hours. A volunteer will ask only for your name and how many people are in your household. They will also ask if there are any children, their ages and if you live with any seniors aged 60 or above. Based on the number of people in your household, a volunteer will direct you to a shopping cart prepared with pre-boxed nonperishable and perishable foods to roll right out the door. Customers are typically in and out in under 60 seconds.

We do NOT ask for identification, proof of income, or proof of being laid off from a job. We do NOT ask that you be a previous customer of the Food Bank and we will not turn anyone away. Food is a basic human right and anyone and everyone are welcomed through our doors for emergency food for you and your family.

For the foreseeable future, our food bank is open for food distribution:

Monday: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday: 10am – 7pm
Wednesday: 10am – 1pm
Thursday: 10am – 7pm
Friday: CLOSED

Doors will not open before the stated times. Our waiting room is closed.

EmPower Place will be open for grab-and-go meals only at the above listed times. The center is closed for play.


For more information on our COVID-19 response, click here.

Process Changes for COVID-19 at Missoula Food Bank & Community Center

 

Effective immediately, we have transitioned to a box model for food distribution based on household size and have expanded our hours to minimize wait times & long lines. We will continue to operate with precautionary measures.

Starting today, when you arrive at the Food Bank for emergency food services:
• Check in at the front desk: We will ask for your name and the number of people in your household.
• Pick up your food: a volunteer will assist you to pick up pre-boxed food in a shopping cart to wheel outside. Pre-packed food boxes will include non-perishable and perishable food.

Updated Store hours for Food Distribution:
• Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8am – 7pm
• Wednesday & Friday: 8am – 1pm

With this new box model and to maximize social distancing, our waiting room is closed. There will be little to no wait time to pick up food after checking in. There will be no customization – we cannot fill customized requests during this time. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Click here to read more on our community response to COVID-19.

MFB&CC: COVID-19 Response

MARCH 14, 2020

MISSOULA FOOD BANK AND COMMUNITY CENTER: PROCESS CHANGES FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE

To help to slow the transmission of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Missoula Food Bank & Community Center is taking the following precautionary measures.

Effective immediately all community use of MFB&CC’s facilities are suspended. This includes regularly scheduled meetings and special reservations of the Learning Kitchen and other spaces.

EmPower Place will be open only for grab-and-go meals. The center will be closed for play.

MFB&CC will continue its Spring Break Kids Eat Free meal service at the following locations for grab-and-go meals:

  • Council Groves Apartments Community Room: Lunch: 11:30am-12pm M-F
  • Travois Village: Lunch: 11:30am – 12:00pm Monday – Friday
  • Futura Mobile Homes: Lunch: 12:00pm – 12:30pm Monday – Friday
  • EmPower Place at MFB&CC:
    • Breakfast: 9:30-11am Wednesday & Friday
    • Lunch: 11 am – 1:30pm – Monday – Friday
    • Supper: 5-7pm Monday, Tuesday & Thursday only

All Store (emergency food pantry) services will transition to a box-model.

  • Families are welcome and there is no fear of scarcity. Families will continue to receive foods regularly available at the food bank.
  • The household intake process will be altered to limit time in the facility.
  • For the safety and health of our customers, the waiting room is closed. Services will occur in real time from 8am – 7pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and 8am-1pm Wednesday and Friday.
  • There can be no customized requests filled during this time. We are grateful to the public for their understanding.

We would like to remind visitors and our community that MFB&CC is an emergency service in the best of times, and we will continue to meet our community’s needs during these challenging times.

MFB&CC remains in need of community volunteers to ensure that all our neighbors are able to access basic needs services. If you are feeling healthy and well, please sign up at https://bit.ly/2IJZwuD to volunteer.

Financial assistance is needed. Visit missoulafoodbank.org to donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund.

These precautions will be in place until the leadership of our organization, informed by experts, feel is prudent to resume normal programming.

Further information will be provided via our Facebook and web pages as our community navigates this situation together. Thank you for your ongoing support. Together, we nourish community.

Friday Lunch Lady

Friday Lunch Lady

By Elaine Carmichael, Kids Table Summer Volunteer

It was a warm summer Friday, and EmPower Place was bustling with activity. Kids of varying ages were coming in to play and interact with friends, as well as to get a yummy lunch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the definite favorite.

On this particular day, it was nearing the end of my shift when a group of five siblings came in for “lunch to go”. They said the baby was out in the car with their parent. Our open lunch sites, like EmPower, typically serve up lunches on site, but it was clear to me that this family had some special circumstances this day. I told the kids I would put the sandwiches and other soft items in one bag and the milk and firmer items in another. The youngest child, who was 4 or 5 years old, became very concerned, and stated “No, no. They all have to be in different bags.” I flippantly replied I was saving plastic from our planet. He, however, was dead serious, and so I made up five individual lunch bags.

After clearing up the residuals from lunch, I suddenly realized what I had just witnessed. This indeed was food insecurity at a basic level. The youngest child was fearful – he needed the security of having his lunch – not in a bag with the food for his other siblings. Because this child comes from a home where there isn’t always enough for everyone. He needed to lay claim to one complete bag as his own. Hunger was an ongoing challenge for him.

This experience has had a lasting impact on me. I am now more sensitive in my interactions with both adults and children while volunteering here in various capacities. I try to listen more carefully to what they are communicating both verbally and nonverbally. I hope to impart a sense of compassion and dignity to all interactions with our customers. I am proud to be a volunteer here at our Missoula Food Bank and Community Center.

Watch this video to see our local food bank’s Kids EmPower Pack Program in action. 


Donate today to our 34th Annual Holiday Drive to help our local food bank raise $250,000 and 55,000 lbs of food. Click here to donate online or donate in person at 1720 Wyoming Street.