Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson
Havre Food Bank volunteer Marysue Davis prepares a package of food for a client Friday morning.
Every year, more than half of the funds to operate the Havre Food Bank come from direct contributions from the public.
This year, as the food bank tightens its belt because demand is up and government support is down, the community has come forward with more donations of cash and food to help the food bank provide more help to people who have a hard time feeding their families, according to Karen Thomas, executive director of the District IV Human Resources Development Council, which operates the food bank.
"We're seeing people we have never seen before," she said. "There is a real need."
More people are visiting the food bank, but federal support has diminished as funds from the Stimulus program vanish.
The community has picked up a great deal of the difference, she said.
"We just want to say thank-you to the community," she said. "They are doing so much to help us."
Community groups and businesses have helped with donations of food and money, including:
Town Pump, which is matching donations to the food bank through Nov. 26, she said.
Wal-Mart, which made a $1,000 donation, and is helping the food bank in preparing a grant request for more money from the store's corporate staff.
The food bank is headed into the most difficult time of the year, she said.
The food bank hopes to provide everyone who needs them with Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets.
She provided a checklist of items the food bank is in need of:
• gravy mix
• fruit cocktails
• Cool Whip
The food bank has enough cranberries, pumpkin, vegetables and sweet potatoes, she said.
Students to hold fundraiser for food bank
Montana State University-Northern students wanting to get involved in the community will sponsor a fundraising dinner for the Havre Community Food Bank from 5 to 7:30 p. m. Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Students in professor Katherine Williams’ introduction to community leadership class will sponsor the Salisbury steak dinner at St. Jude's Parish Center.
Some students from the class have been volunteering at the food bank in recent weeks and saw the need the community has for the service, which is undergoing a financial pinch.
Admission will be $7 for adults and $4 for those 8 and under.
People will also get baked chicken, potatoes, salad and various desserts, she said.
Students are seeking contributions from businesses and people for food and auction items for the benefit, said Destiny Swan, a student who has volunteered at the food bank.
The youth group at St. Jude Thaddeus Church is helping out with the dinner, Swan said.
Food bank income/expense numbers
Here are the Community Food Bank expenses for 2010:
• Wages for. 75 full-time employee, $22,326.45;
• Expenses for. 75 full-time BVA volunteer, $2,090;
• Liability insurance, $918;
• Travel/vehicle insurance for picking up food, $1,124;
• Utilities, $5,679.53;
• Supplies, postage, phone, janitorial, $4,363.04;
• Repairs/maintenance of building, freezers, etc. $3.439.67;
• Food over and above donated items, $9,839.30;
• Total food bank expenses: $49.781.64.
Here are the income items for 2010:
• Donations from people and companies, $27.543.40;
• United Way of Hill County, $3,996;
• FEMA, $4,300;
• Community service block grant, $13,942;
Total food bank income: $49,781.64.
(With the elimination of Stimulus funds, the part-time employee was laid off and the director was cut back to. 75.)
Expenses for the food bank through Oct. 15:
Category, year-to-date, and projected through the end of the year:
• Wages for. 75 full-time employee, $16,803.01, $4,400;
• Expenses for. 75 full-time volunteer, $1.050.73, 0;
• Liability insurance, $327.39, $500;
• Travel/vehicle insurance, $1,806, $250;
• Utilities, $4.154.81, $1,500;
• Office supplies, $3,444.13, $1,000;
• Repairs, maintenance, $637.50, 0;
• Food beyond donated items, $2,802.34, $5,000;
• Total food bank expenses, $31,028.91, $12,650;
Food bank revenue for 2011:
• Donations from people, companies, $11,979.32, $15,000;
• United Way, $2,000;
• FEMA, 0, $3,500.
• Community Service Block Grant, 0, $9,199.59.