The shelves at the Havre Food Bank are beginning to thin out, and the busy Christmas season is about to begin.
To remedy this shortage, Havre firefighters will be going door to door tonight and Thursday night to collect food to help build up the supplies.
With lights flashing and sirens sounding, the fire trucks and ambulances will be going through town to collect food and raise awareness of the need for more contributions to the food bank.
"We ask people if they can to put the food in sacks out on their doorsteps," said Cody McLain, a firefighter who is heading up the effort.
Usually about 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of food is collected during the annual drive, named ELF — Everybody Loves Firefighters. Last year, he said, was one of the best years ever.
Tonight, firefighters will go door to door in areas east of 5th Avenue, then they will be out in areas west of 5th Avenue on Thursday.
Penny Velk, the food bank's executive director, said the annual postal worker drive, held each spring, usually fills up the shelves for the busy summer months when demand is up because young people are not in school. More than 5,000 pounds of food are collected during that effort, she said.
By now, though, the shelves begin to get a little thin, Velk said, so the firefighters' drive comes at just the right time.
"We're looking for volunteers to help out," McLain said.
Velk said people can show up at the fire station or across the street at VanOrsdel United Methodist Church.
Velk added that people are needed to help sort out the food and bring it to the food bank.
"It would be great to see families volunteer," she said.
People can show up at about 5:45 p.m., McLain said. Firefighters will take off at about 6:30 p.m. to tour the neighborhoods, he said.
In addition to the food drive, the food bank will sponsor a super nacho feed between 4 and 6 p.m. both nights to help raise funds for a new warehouse the food bank is building. Supplies will be kept in the 12-by-16-foot building until they are needed on the shelves, she said.
YouthBuild is constructing the building, she said, and Bill Baltrusch has donated the cement, but other building materials are still needed.
Velk said she hopes people will come by for the feed and then stick around to volunteer helping to unload the new food supplies from the ELF drive.