Amanda Johnson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre Food Bank recently received a long overdue remodeling thanks to some help from Gary & Leo’s Fresh Foods and local volunteers. Gary & Leo’s donated shelving that the food bank installed and is using to organize the donated food. “We worked a lot of hours on the remodeling and were fortunate enough to only be closed for two days, which were a Tuesday and a Wednesday,” said Penny Velk, Havre Food Bank director. “We’re very thankful to IGA for donating the shelves. That was very generous and very much an appreciated and needed donation. We put in a lot of new shelves and now we can store food on them instead of having the food in boxes or in pallets. It’s so nice.” Volunteers also donated items to update the Food Bank. Larry and Doris Halverson donated the new window in the lobby and enhanced the landscaping this summer by mowing the yard and planting flowers. “Bob and Danni Kaul are also great volunteers. They call every month and ask what we need, if I tell them we’re out of Hamburger Helper, they bring down a couple of cases," Velk said. "They always bring down rice, flour or sugar, whatever is needed, they’re great." “Velk said Keith Dahl is another regular volunteer who puts in a good deal of effort for the cause. "He is here every Tuesday and Thursday always," Velk said. "Keith is very supportive." The Food Bank is fed by locals' donations throughout the year and by several large food drives held annually in the community. “4-H club and Fifth Avenue Christian Church youth group (in October) did a food drive for us and if it hadn’t been for them our shelves would be bare,” said Velk. “Currently, Town Pump is collecting money for a food drive. All the money they collect, they will match it up to $4,000. That goes until the end of November. “The ELF drive is going on Tuesday and Wednesday (today and tomorrow). (The food from) those two food drives will usually last us until spring,” she added. Velk said the former Havre Albertson's, which used to donate food frequently, has been sorely missed. “We’ve recently been able to partner up with Albertson’s in Harlem so we will start getting some of the food that we used to get when Albertson’s was here in Havre," she said. "Coca-Cola has generously volunteered to pick that food up for us on Wednesday’s." With strong supplies of donations continuing to arrive at the Havre Food Bank, Velk said the remodeling has allowed them to make an organized presentation of the food and allows for more efficient distribution to those in need. “I would really like to thank all of the volunteers for all of their help in the remodeling, without them it wouldn’t have been possible,” said Velk. For more information about the Food Bank and where people can donate, call Penny Velk at 265-2007.