Havre Daily News
The Havre Food Bank collects about a third of its annual stock of food over two days, and those days are coming up.
The annual Everybody Loves Firefighters - ELF - food drive is Monday and Tuesday.
The last few years have set consecutive records for the amount of food donated by Havre residents, and Havre Food Bank manager Don Bleak hopes for another record this year.
The arrival of a Havre fire truck on their block alerts residents that a volunteer is coming to pick up donated nonperishable food.
The food drive will begin at 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Bleak asks that people who would like to volunteer to collect food arrive at the Havre Fire Department about 5:30 p.m. Volunteers who would like to help sort food should arrive at Van Orsdel United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m., he said.
Those interested in donating are asked to contribute canned and other nonperishable foods, either bringing the food to the door when a volunteer arrives, or leaving the food outside if they will be away from home. “This community is very supportive of it throughout the years,” Bleak said Thursday. “I just hope there's more food than we got last year, and that was a huge amount.”
Bleak has set a high goal in trying to surpass past years. He counted 6,000 pounds of food donated two years ago, a record, and then 7,894 last year.
The food bank will be helped this year with a strong effort from Montana State University-Northern students, as well as with the usual enthusiastic help from the Havre Fire Department, he said.
Northern sports teams generally participate, and Bleak said he expects help from several of them this year. In addition, an Americorps participant at Northern is helping coordinate school volunteers and is trying to create a pool of volunteers to participate in various activities throughout the community, he said.
“That would be a boost for not only the food bank but for anybody who does volunteer work,” he said. “She's done a big part of getting the volunteers going.”
Bleak has also heard he'll have help from Scouting groups. Each year the grocery stores contribute plastic bags too, he said.