By Pete Soyer
The North Havre Community Services Food Bank will be making some some much-needed upgrades soon
The food bank recently received a grant for $2,500 to help make upgrades so it meets Hill County health and planning standards.
The grant application was written by students in Kevin Brown's grant writing class at Montana State University-Northern, said food bank managing director Cyndi Murphy.
She said the food bank, which serves about 2,100 families and about 600 walk-ins a month, was falling below the health code. The building needs new flooring, a better sink system, new counter tops in the kitchen, and other interior improvements, Murphy said.
The sink needs to be improved because vegetables donated by people and businesses in Havre are washed there, she said.
Some of the vegetable are rotten and separating them from the good vegetables can create a mess, she said.
She said the upgrades would start no later than this fall but will happen hopefully sooner. "The check will be here soon," Murphy said.
Heidi Bischoff, Havre's sanitarian, said easily cleanable walls, sinks, floors and countertops are all standards that have to be met. She also said that all of those surfaces must be smooth and without nicks.
The food bank has not been cited by the county for any health code violations.
The $2,500 grant came from the Montana Community Foundation, which raises money donates it to non-profit organizations in the state. The foundation recently announced it has donated more than $170,390 in awards and scholarships.
Anyone can receive food from the food bank if they provide identification for family members and a proof of address.
Anyone can drop off donations at the food bank, located at 453 Seventh Ave. N. in North Havre, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Murphy also said a person can call if they are unable to bring the food to the food bank and she will arrange to have it picked up. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1667 in Havre.