Food bank hands out boxes for Christmas
The Havre Food Bank has been a busy place this week.
"We have had a lot of donations," said food bank manager Penny Velk. "As soon as it comes in, it goes out the door."
More than 50 Christmas boxes filled with turkeys, stuffing, yams, onions, Impossible Pumpkin Pie filling and other foods were given out Monday, and at least that many were going out the door on Tuesday.
The holiday boxes went out early, Velk said, because she will be undergoing surgery today and will be unable to work and coordinate volunteers until Dec. 27.
No food boxes will be given out while she is away, she said. But if there is an emergency, people can call the District IV Human Resources Development Council at 265-6743.
Because she will be gone, a lot of other work was done early as well, and much of it accomplished by volunteers.
"This place looks like a cyclone hit it," she laughed.
She said she was astounded by the reaction of the community after the word got out that the food bank was in dire financial straits.
Cuts in government aid came at the same time as an increasing demand for food, she said.
She was fearful that Thanksgiving or Christmas boxes would be called off.
But community groups and individuals have donated money, food and their time in overwhelming amounts.
On top of the community groups, Walmart, Kmart, Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods and Albertson's in Harlem have donated a lot of food.
All of the food handed out in the Christmas boxes was donated, she said.
"I didn't have to go shopping at all," she said. "This is the first time this has happened in the five years I have been here."
The money and food donations that are left over will have to last for two more months, she said, until the next food from the Montana Food Bank Network arrives.