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Missoula Food Bank is in need of community volunteers to fill a variety of shifts going into the busy summer season.

In 2016, the food bank had 3,630 different volunteers donating 31,000 hours of service. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization,” says Kelli Hess, Operations Director. “We have 11 staff members, and last year we provided more than 181,000 services — it just wouldn’t be physically possible without the many caring hours gifted to us by this community.”

Volunteers serve in numerous ways at the food bank. People are needed to fill regular, weekly shifts performing tasks like stocking shelves, bagging groceries, preparing meals for the food bank’s summer meal program, and helping in the EmPower Place, a collaborative space at the food bank that provides engaging activities and programs for neighborhood children and customers of the food bank. There are also monthly and special event opportunities. “Basically, whatever your availability, we have a job that would be helpful and meaningful,” notes Hess.

Community members are encouraged to apply at missoulafoodbank.org or to visit the food bank’s new location at 1720 Wyoming St. to pick up a paper application.

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The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center is hosting its third annual un-conference on Saturday, June 10, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at University Congregational Church, 405 University Ave., with a reception to follow.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center presents “Beyond Us And Them: What is Possible?” a day-long “un-conference.” A key foundation of our work for peace is encouraging the dialogue and connections that build understanding among the huge variety of people on this planet. Our world is changing rapidly. It demands that we learn to cut through the mounting divisions — both within and outside the choir — that keep us separated to meet the unquestionable challenges of the emerging future together. When divisions dominate — whether politics, economics, cultures, issues or opinions — we remain stuck in a worldview that is destined to fail. The future includes all of us, so rather than focusing on being right and winning, we must put our efforts toward understanding all perspectives and search for the deeper truths that join us together. This critical time demands all our strengths to create the kind of solutions to meet the upcoming untold challenges. These are the conversations that matter.

We ask you to join us as we search for the courage, compassion and respect to learn these skills, build these new connections, and imagine the world that is possible. And we are looking for folks from all persuasions, with all their concerns and interests, to join us so our conversations are deep and productive.

At the un-conference, four lightning speakers (Dustin Monroe, Quentin Robinson, Tricia Parks and Robert Rivers) will ignite the participants with their individual passions for peacemaking. Using Open Space Meeting Technology facilitated by Kris Bayer, JRPC members, friends and community members will be invited to nominate and host any topic related to the theme. These will become simultaneous, fluid breakout sessions in which participants share ideas, inspire each other, and engage on the most powerful topics of interest. At the close, participants are invited to an evening reception in the UCC Courtyard with snacks and music. The event is free for JRPC members and $20 for non-members; lunch, snacks and evening reception included. More information and online registration is at jrpc.org/beyond-us-and-them.

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