In the Flathead Valley of Montana, food insecurity is a major issue for many families and individuals. 1 in 8 people and 1 in 6 children struggled with food insecurity in Montana. Feeding America, a non-profit organization with a nationwide network of over 200 food banks, reported that, in 2018, 9.7% of people in Flathead County struggled with food insecurity.
There has been a surge in demand for food bank services in Flathead County since the pandemic began in 2020, as people grappled with unemployment and rising food costs.
Fortunately, there are wonderful local organizations like the Flathead Food Bank that are working hard to fight food insecurity in our community! The Flathead Food Bank is an amazing organization that helps to feed thousands of people in Kalispell, Montana, and the surrounding area. They provide a variety of services, including a large food bank, a mobile food pantry, and a Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors. The Flathead Food Bank works hard every day to make sure that no one in the valley goes hungry. Let’s take a look at all the great services this incredible organization provides and how you can help support them!
Food Pantry Services in Kalispell, Montana
The Flathead Food Bank operates two food pantries throughout Kalispell and the greater Flathead Valley area – one large market located in Kalispell and a mobile pantry serving other areas in Flathead County.
The main Flathead Food Bank is located in Kalispell at the south end of the Gateway Community Center, formerly the Gateway West Mall, near the corner of Meridian Rd. and W. Idaho St. (Hwy 2). After a quick and completely confidential interview process, families and individuals can select items throughout the food bank just like they would at any other grocery store.
Thanks to the generous support of donors and community partners, the Flathead Foodbank has a variety of fresh and shelf-stable foods to choose from at absolutely no cost to its visitors. The Flathead Food Bank is open Mondays from 9:00am-1:45pm, Tuesdays from 9:00am-1:45pm, Wednesdays from 1:00pm-5:45pm, and Thursdays from 9:00am-1:45pm, and there is no appointment required to visit.
Mobile Food Bank Services in Flathead County
The Flathead Food Bank team knows that much of Flathead County is rural, and it isn’t always easy to get to Kalispell without reliable transportation. If transportation is an issue, those in need can rely on Flathead Food Bank’s mobile food bank. The mobile food bank visits areas outside of Kalispell on a rotating weekly schedule, providing meals to people in Martin City, Hungry Horse, Coram, West Glacier, Kila, Batavia, and Marion. This has proven to be a vital resource for those far away from local grocery stores and other sources of healthy meals. Learn more about the mobile food bank weekly schedule here: flatheadfoodbank.org/programs
Other Flathead Food Bank Programs
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is another amazing program provided by the Flathead Food Bank. This program provides eligible individuals over 60 years old with monthly boxes of nutritious foods such as cereal, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruits, juice, and more. This program is incredibly helpful for elderly citizens who may not have enough resources to purchase groceries every week or month.
The Backpack Program is another program run by the Flathead Food Bank. This program was created by volunteers who saw that low-income children were often going home on weekends without enough food to eat until Monday morning when they returned back to school.
Through donations from local businesses and individuals, the Flathead Foodbank is able to provide weekend meals and snacks for children that can be easily prepared at home. Each backpack is distributed discreetly to children and contains breakfast and lunch, as well as juice, milk, and a treat for each day the child is out of school.
Find a list of participating schools here: flatheadfoodbank.org/programs
Volunteering for the Flathead Food Bank
If you’re interested in being a part of serving your community and fighting food insecurity in Flathead County, there are many ways you can help the Flathead Food Bank.
- Become a volunteer. Volunteers are the backbone of the Flathead Food Bank. Donate your time and help with daily food bank operations.
- Donate money. Every dollar that is donated provides at least three meals to someone in our community who is struggling with food insecurity.
- Donate food. The Flathead Food Bank accepts non-perishable food donations. Find a full list of the most helpful items here.
- Sponsor a fundraiser. If you’re looking for a way to bring your community together in support of a cause, consider organizing a food drive or fundraiser for Flathead Food Bank. You can contact the Flathead Food Bank with your fundraiser ideas.
Supporting the Kalispell and Flathead County Community
The work that organizations like the Flathead Foodbank do is essential when it comes to helping those affected by food insecurity here in Montana – the work they do truly makes a difference! If you want to get involved or just learn more about the great work they do, please check out their website or contact them directly for further information. Together we can make sure that no one goes without an essential meal here in our beloved state of Montana!
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