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Food bank loses holiday meats due to freezer malfunction


Last updated 8/14/2020 at 12:09pm

The Havre Food Bank had a freezer malfunction Tuesday, which forced the bank to dispose of items such as hams and turkeys that were part of the holiday distributions.

“We aren’t completely sure what happened, It appears that the freezer blew a fuse at some point Monday,” Food Bank Manager Samantha Nimmick said. “Upon checking the freezer Tuesday, the frozen food at the front was soft and registering at unsafe temperatures. We turned the breaker back on to refreeze the food and make it easier for removal that evening. While removing the food we were heartbroken to discover that nothing was salvageable.”

This could mean a significant decrease in frozen food availability as well as a possibility of a cap on how many holiday boxes the food bank can do, she said.

She said the good news is the food bank is currently working with several local organizations including Elks and Chippewa-Cree Commodities.

“I have also seen an outpouring of offers of assistance over Facebook so I am maintaining a positive and hopeful outlook,” she added.

Nimmick said they are always looking for help and donations at the food bank.

At this time, she said, they are only able to utilize one extra volunteer at a time due to space constraints, but are happy to host anyone willing to help.

She said a position is open for another food bank employee, adding that if anyone is interested in applying they can pick up an application at District 4 Human Resources Development Council.

  “I am hoping to have the freezer cleaned out and working by Monday to allow for frozen food donations,” she said. “In the meantime, the food bank is still accepting shelf stable foods, produce and monetary donations.”

Donations can be made at the food bank from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday Thursday, and Friday or mailed to HRDC at 2229 Fifth Ave Havre, MT 59501.

If arrangements need to be made for donations outside the operating hours, donors can call 406-265-2007, 406-262-5812 or 406-265-6743 ext 1125.

Nimmick said things are going well at the food bank despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Our days are very hit-and-miss,” Nimmick said. “Some days we have upwards of 30 and others are less than 10. We have however, had an increase in new customers and emergency boxes.”


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