Non-Profit Feature

Go Local donates 3% of each issue’s advertising revenue to a local nonprofit organization. This issue supports The Flathead Food Bank.


NONPROFIT HIGHLIGHT: The Flathead Food Bank

Q&A with Jamie Quinn, director of the Flathead Food Bank

 JAMIE QUINN

What is your organization’s mission?

The Flathead Food Bank started in 1982 to make sure all of our neighbors have food. Our mission is to eliminate hunger in the Flathead Valley through collaborative partnerships creating effective solutions to connect and strengthen individuals, families, and the community through access to healthy nutritious food.

What services and/or programs does your organization provide?

Flathead Food Bank provides weekend food bags called BackPacks for 600 kids in 20 schools throughout the Flathead Valley. We also provide Senior Commodity Supplemental Food Program bags of shelf-stable food to registered seniors over 60. Two times a month, our mobile pantry goes to Kila and Marion and to Martin City to ensure food access in rural communities. Our largest program is our Kalispell pantry, where customers can shop and pick out their items based on a shopping list and annual visit allotment. During COVID-19, we have transitioned to a curbside pickup of pre-boxed items but look forward to getting our normal pantry running.

Who do you serve in the Flathead Valley?

We serve anyone who comes to our doors during our pantry hours, no matter where they are from.

Has the need changed over the past four decades?

The valley has grown a lot since 1982 and unfortunately, wages have not gone up nearly as much as expenses, so we continue to serve more people than ever. During COVID-19, food access has become a large issue for people and we are now warehousing food for not only Flathead County but all of Northwest Montana.

 

Food is more than a necessity. It is how we connect to one another and often how our best memories are made. No one deserves to be hungry.

What’s something you’ve learned from your work that you wish more people knew?

Food is more than a necessity. It is how we connect to one another and often how our best memories are made. No one deserves to be hungry.

What are your main fundraising efforts?

We are so lucky to be a part of the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Great Fish Community Challenge, as well as the Town Pump Match. We also look forward to holding events again in 2021!

How can the community support your organization?

We are always in need of volunteers, food donations, and financial donations. With our buying power, the average meal costs us $0.60.

Can you describe your vision for the future?

Our goal is to ensure everyone has access to quality food. We live in an amazing country where no one should be hungry. We wish our services were not needed, but they are needed now more than ever.

How can folks get involved?

We welcome people to call (406) 752-3663 or stop by our office at 1023 U.S. Highway 2 West, in Kalispell, to learn about volunteering opportunities. People can donate food or money via mail, our office, or online at Flatheadfoodbank.org.

To get in touch with the Flathead Food Bank call 406-752-3663 or visit their website at flatheadfoodbank.org

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