Mobile food pantry making delivery to Ravalli County on Friday

2011-08-02T19:57:00Z 2011-08-02T20:04:03Z Mobile food pantry making delivery to Ravalli County on FridayBy LAURA LUNDQUIST Ravalli Republic
August 02, 2011 7:57 pm  • 

HAMILTON - Even in this season of plenty, some Ravalli County residents can't afford all the food they need. Pressure on local food banks continues to increase, but a Friday delivery should provide some relief.

A Mobile Food Pantry semi will pull into the Ravalli County Fairgrounds on Friday morning to distribute between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds of food to those in need. The delivery is an acknowledgment of that need, which exceeded the Pantry's supplies the last time it was in Hamilton in November.

"The mobile pantry is usually scheduled for three or four hours, but we ran out of food in an hour and a half," said Kathryn McCleerey, Montana Food Bank Network spokeswoman. "We knew the need was great."

More than 20,000 pounds of food was provided to almost 1,000 individuals in November. More may show up on Friday if the number of people enrolled for food assistance is any indication.

As of April, almost 14 percent of county residents, representing more than 2,500 households, were signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, exceeding the state average of almost 13 percent. The number of county residents using the program has almost doubled over the past five years.

McCleerey said the Food Bank Network looks at those numbers and the amount of food distributed by local pantries to schedule its deliveries.

"We depend on local pantries; they're the boots on the ground," McCleerey said. "We'll give any food we have left over to them."

Kathy Belke, president of the Pantry Partners Food Bank in Stevensville, said she's been advertising the mobile food bank delivery but doesn't know how it will help some of her clients.

"A lot of people in need can't drive to Hamilton, so I wish they would stop in Stevensville," Belke said.

McCleerey said the mobile food bank has done some back-to-back deliveries, such as combining Shelby and Havre into one trip. But the truck can carry only so much food and coordinating more than two dozen volunteers in each town can be a challenge.

When the Food Bank Network received a recent anonymous gift of $250,000, getting back to Hamilton was a priority, she said.

"We feel like we'll be well-equipped this time," McCleerey said.

Belke said one possible benefit of the mobile food pantry is its relative lack of formality. But, she said, she worries that invites some to take advantage of the program.

"A lot of times, people are hesitant to walk in the door of a food bank and don't want to fill out the forms," Belke said. "The mobile pantry could be a little less embarrassing."

McCleerey said people fill out a five-item questionnaire, which asks the number in their household and whether they are enrolled in assistance programs. If they aren't, volunteers can help them apply.

"I don't think many are looking for a handout. For the most part, people would rather not be asking for help," McCleerey said. "Most people feel they have to apologize when they come to us, and that's sad."

The state Mobile Food Pantry program relies entirely on charitable donations and volunteer work by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

The Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds, 100 Old Corvallis Road, on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact reporter Laura Lundquist at 363-3300 or


Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian ( may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search our events calendar