Community groceries

By 
Miriam Campan
Reporter
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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Volunteers Lewistown Police Officer Cory Smith (front) and Officer Joe Wirtz (back right) are masked and ready to distribute food at the Council on Aging Monday afternoon.
Photo by Miriam Campan

With the efficiency of a factory production line, nearly 15,000 pounds of food was distributed to hungry Fergus County residents Monday afternoon.
Families affected by the economic shut down were guided into the Council on Aging’s parking lot for the much-needed commodities, packaged and distributed by dozens of masked and gloved volunteers.
It was a recent conversation between Stacy Brown from Family Service in Billings and the COA’s Executive Director Dale Pfau that made the quick distribution of food to local residents a reality.
Brown said, “When Dale mentioned people were hungry in Lewistown I just brought the food.”
“We’ve just be giving out so much extra food, I knew we needed more,” Pfau said.
The thousands of pounds of food distributed included milk, chicken patties, fruit and vegetables. These were first packaged into family-sized boxes, and then distributed by COA volunteers, assisted by city and county volunteers such as members of the police, fire and sheriff’s departments.

Enough food was distributed to feed an estimated 300 families.
In addition to the food provided by Family Service, Spring Creek Colony members arrived with potatoes and manpower. They assisted in distributing over 1,000 pounds of potatoes to add to the food boxes.
Volunteers directed the traffic, and as each car pulled up a volunteer would ask, “How many people in your family?” or “How many families are you collecting for?”
Residents were then able to drive away with food that covered all the requirements for a well-balanced and healthy diet.
Family Service is a non-profit with a 112-year history in Billings. The organization’s mission is to prevent hunger, homelessness and poverty in Yellowstone County and surrounding areas through community involvement. Family Service provides food boxes, rent and utility assistance, clothing and educational funding for better employment.
Brown, who is executive director of Family Service, said, “I’m so grateful we were able to do this. If more food is needed we will do our best to deliver it to Lewistown.”

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