Debbie Wedel picks up a turkey from volunteer Dick Giuliani at the Missoula Food Bank’s annual Thanksgiving meal distribution at the Missoula County Fairgrounds on Monday. Wedel had already picked up a bag of other ingredients inside a fairgrounds building.

With a little more than a week left in its 30th annual Holiday Food Drive, the Missoula Food Bank is seeing strong support from the community, but still has a long way to go to reach its goals.

As of Tuesday, executive director Aaron Brock said the food bank had brought in $163,940 of its $225,000 donation goal.

About 36,540 pounds of food has been donated so far. The food bank is hoping to bring in 50,000 pounds of food over the month-long drive.

“This has been a really big week for us. We added about $50,000 in the last two days. That’s just incredible,” Brock said.

While he was grateful for the progress the food bank has seen already, Brock said there's a long way to go with a little more than a week left in the monthlong campaign.

“The goal is substantial. Our fingers are crossed that we reach those goals, yet the generosity that we see every day is humbling,” he said.

December closes out a strong year for the Missoula Food Bank.

The organization won the annual Can the Bobcats Food Drive for the first time in 15 years in November, and it is getting ready to begin construction on its new building at the corner of Wyoming and Catlin streets.

All donations received through New Year’s Eve will be counted toward the Holiday Food Drive goal.

When the weather gets colder and the snow starts to fall, Brock said there is a noticeable increase in demand for the food bank's services. Over the past year, one in six people in Missoula County has made use of the food bank.

“We will need to get donations that last week. I don’t think there is any way we reach our goal by Christmas,” Brock said.

Donations can be made at missoulafoodbank.org or in person at 219 S. Third St. W.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for The Missoulian.