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Food bank launches donation drive for kids food

| October 13, 2021 1:00 AM

One in four customers at the North Valley Food Bank is under the age of 18.

In order to help provide food for youngsters, the food bank is launching its second annual fall food drive, Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat!. The drive begins on Saturday, Oct. 16 and culminates on Halloween, Oct. 31.

The food bank will be collecting kid-friendly, non-perishable items that include canned tuna, macaroni and cheese, applesauce cups, cereal, oatmeal, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, fruit cups, popcorn, fruit snacks, soups, goldfish crackers, trail mix, granola bars, jellies, jerky, children’s vitamin, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

The food bank continues to distribute food in Whitefish and the surrounding counties. The food bank operates mobile pantries in Essex, Trego and Olney.

Sophie Albert, food bank executive director, said the food bank’s customer base has tripled over the last two years.

“Especially during the upcoming colder season, access to healthy food is challenging for our customers. Because of that, we want to collect nutritious meals and snacks for children,” she said.

Donation bins can be found at Whitefish downtown businesses, schools and grocery stores. The schools and downtown businesses will each be participating in a friendly competition to see who can collect the most food.

To locate the donation bins, look for the “bat signal” — the food bank black and orange posters with a bat insigne — in the windows of participating businesses and grocery stores.

To volunteer for the food bank, contact Anya Brown at anya@northvalleyfoodbank.org, or call 406-862-5863.

North Valley Food Bank is located at 251 Flathead Avenue in Whitefish. More information about the food drive and the participating businesses can be found at northvalleyfoodbank.org