Local banks join in new food drive tradition


Amy Patnode holds some examples of ammunition for the upcoming Holiday Food Wars between Lewistown banks. While non-perishable food items are encouraged, the Central Montana Community Cupboard is also hoping to receive toiletries this holiday season.

Photo by Jenny Gessaman

Everyone knows December ushers in the peace and love of the holiday season. This year, it’s also marking the start of a month-long food war. Amy Patnode, customer service representative at Stockman Bank, reassured the public all banks involved would be civil. Every bit of ammunition will end up at the Central Montana Community Cupboard, after all.

Patnode explained several local banks have done individual food drives in the past, but Stockman staff thought a city-wide competition could provide some extra motivation.

“We usually do a food drive within the bank, but we thought it would be fun to include as many financial institutions as possible,” she explained.

Three other banks agreed to gear up, and now the stage is set for a new Christmas tradition. For most of December, the four competitors will take donations for the Central Montana Community Cupboard. Non-perishable food items are accepted, as well as some other daily necessities.

“What the Community Cupboard said they needed most is toiletries,” Patnode explained.

Each bank will do periodic drop-offs at the charitable organization, dividing the weight of the donations by the number of employees. Organizers plan to have a way to check each bank’s progress as a source of charitable motivation.

Ensuring Christmas meals for Central Montanans is the perfect holiday prize, but Patnode added the winning bank would receive an extra bonus: a food wars trophy.

“It’s going to be a traveling trophy, like a sort of bragging rights,” she said.

While both the Community Cupboard and the banks will each get their own spoils of war, Patnode hopes the event can give to the general public, too. She thinks a large, combined effort, with some good organization, could make charity more accessible for those wanting to donate.

“I think that having everybody involved, yearly, and at numerous institutions, will encourage the public,” she said.

Choose your colors
Want to give holiday charity a little edge? Join in Holiday Foods Wars!

Pick a team:
• Bank of the Rockies
• Fergus Federal Credit Union
• Stockman Banks
• Wells Fargo

Pick a time:
• Hit the battlefield between Dec. 1 and Dec. 23

Pick a weapon:
• Non-perishable food items, including canned goods and ingredients for Christmas cookery
• Toiletries, such as toothbrushes, deodorant and feminine products



When do you think the snow will finally be melted in Lewistown?