We checked in with our peeps over at the Missoula Food Bank, just to see how things are going as Montana enters Phase 2 of re-opening. And thanks to our generous community, they didn't have to turn anyone away as unemployment numbers soared over the last few months of pandemic madness. Thanks for that, Missoula!

With that said, more new faces and families than ever were picking up groceries, folks who never imagined that they would need the Food Bank, and that's exactly what they are for, emergency food for families in need. Did you know that the Missoula Food Bank & Community Center is open to anyone and everyone? It's true, you don't even have to show proof of income, proof of residency, nor any identification. When you arrive, they only ask for your name and how many people are in your household, and you leave with a pre-packed cart full of food, everything from milk & cheese to pasta & bread.

It's that simple. And you shouldn't feel weird about asking for help, we've all had to reach out for assistance at one time or another, all that your neighbors and community really care about, is that your kids are fed. Oh! Speaking of the kiddos, they can get free "grab-and-go meals" from the EmPower Place, which is in the same building as the Food Bank. If you know a teen or a pre-teen who you are concerned about having enough to eat this summer, please tell them they can reach out to the Food Bank or just stop by during their pick up hours.

Picking up an emergency supply of food at our local food bank takes as little as 60 seconds. As we begin June, new hours for food distribution are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out their website or call 549-0543 if you have any questions, and be assured, they have been taking precautions to keep the community safe over the last few weeks, by limiting the number of volunteers, limiting the number of people inside the store and building, and food is handled by nice people in masks and gloves. So stop by if you need to, it's all good.

The Missoula Food Bank, EmPower Place & Community Center can be found at 1720 Wyoming Street, in the same neighborhood as Westside Lanes. If you are in a position to donate, you don't even have to leave your chair, you can do so right here.

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