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Food bank places cash donation boxes around Big Sky



Rapiers donate funding for crockpots

The Big Sky Food Bank opened November 2012 and is filling a niche previously left open in the community.

In 2013, it served 332 individuals, according to advisory council member Diane Bartzick. That means an estimate of 60,000 pounds of food will be needed in 2014.

Local establishments have directly donated 18,725 pounds, with Blue Moon Bakery, Country Market and Big Sky Resort donating some of the largest volumes, Bartzick said. Individuals have donated a combined 4,600 pounds, in addition to the collection bins.

The organization – a nonprofit that functions as an arm of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank – has also had a cash donation box at the Country Market for a year, and has received $5,000 in cash from that and other sources, Bartzick said.

Additionally, the food bank received a $55,000 donation this spring from a local woman, Kymberly Rapier, for additional freezers, donation boxes, additional food and crockpots available for Food Bank patrons to prepare healthier meals. Kymberly and her husband George have been financial donors from the beginning to help the food bank get off the ground.

Still, Bartzick says, the food bank has ongoing needs for funding and food. This spring, advisory council members have placed an additional 17 cash donation boxes around the community, and they plan to approach 20 additional establishments about adding a donation box.

The Big Sky Post Office is hosting a food drive this spring, alongside the national USPS Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The collection “bin” will be the giant mail cage in the lobby, said Jean Palmer, station manager of the Post Office.

“Fill up the mail cage!” Palmer said.

The collection runs from May 8-10 and is open 24 hours a day.

In an effort to encourage additional local involvement in such events, the food bank’s program manager Sarah Gaither is creating a community calendar to organize food drives, Bartzick said, and hosting a table at the Big Sky Farmers Market again this summer. Contact Gaither to receive additional information at (406) 995-3088.

Big Sky Food Bank wish list
Canned hearty soup, canned fruit, fresh vegetables, main dish starters, Hamburger Helper, skillet meals

The food bank will be open during regular hours this spring, Tuesdays 3-7 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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