Donation Allows Bigfork Food Bank to Reopen with Stocked Shelves

Food bank reopens after help from three nonprofits and local restaurateur

By Beacon Staff

Three Bigfork nonprofits have joined a local restaurateur to enable the Bigfork Food Bank to purchase nearly one ton of food.

When the food bank opens its doors on May 5, the shelves will be fully stocked with necessary items thanks to the combined donation of $3,000 from Bigfork Innovations Group, the Community Foundation for A Better Bigfork, the Rotary Club of Bigfork and Lisa Cloutier’s wholesale purchasing power. Cloutier is the owner of Montana Bonfire in Woods Bay.

Food security and hunger are growing concerns in the community due to unemployment and under-employment as a result of COVID-19 business closures.

“The Bigfork Food Bank is extremely grateful for the food that Bigfork Innovations Group, the Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork and the Rotary Club is providing,” said Ann Tucker, director of the Bigfork Food Bank. “We plan to help over 100 families.”

The Bigfork Food Bank normally serves the community every Tuesday but has been closed since April 7 due to lack of food availability and volunteers who are considered part of the at-risk population.

“This major food purchase ensures our inventory will be more than ample for the distribution on Tuesday as well as for the May 19 distribution,” Tucker added. “It is wonderful to know that the Food Bank has the ability to help our neighbors in these uncertain times.”

When Cloutier heard that the food bank was trying to help twice as many families as it usually serves, she reached out to fellow Bigfork Innovations Group board members, Dane Hollinger and Darcie Fast. They agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from Bigfork Brewfest, one of the last major events to occur in the valley before the COVID-19 closures.

The Rotary Club of Bigfork was quick to approve a matching donation through its foundation and the Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork followed suit.

For more information about the Bigfork Food Bank, see bigforkfoodbank.org.

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