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Jessy Lee, program services manager at the Missoula Food Bank, sorts canned goods at the pantry on South Third Street West.

A glitch in the server used by the Missoula Food Bank is costing the organization precious time and money as it heads deeper into its busiest fundraising season of the year.

On Thursday, executive director Aaron Brock said donations to the pantry were lagging due to problems with the web host, leaving the organization 72 percent behind its goals for the annual Holiday Drive.

“It’s disappointing for our donors to go online intending to do something good, and be met with technical difficulties,” Brock said. “Donations during our Holiday Drive help to sustain our local food bank.”

Jessica Allred, spokesperson for the food bank, said the pantry has received $64,000 this month in its push to raise $225,000. She attributed the slow start to problems making online donations.

“We started getting calls last week,” Allred said. “We thought it was sporadic, but as the frequency increased, we realized a lot of people were experiencing problems.”

Allred said several technology companies in Missoula have reached out to correct the problem. The food bank will move its website to another server and hopes to have it operational by the end of the week.

“We’ve got wonderful people who want to support us, so when you’re met with these difficulties, it’s frustrating,” Allred said.

The food bank saw a 10 percent increase in overall services in November and expects the trend to continue through December.

The number of seniors needing assistance has increased more than 9 percent over last year. Children comprise 36 percent of the food bank’s client base this year, according to figures provided by the organization.

“This year will be another record-breaking year for our local food bank,” Brock said. “We’ve already provided more than 72,000 services to local families so far, and December is one of our busiest months of the year.”

Donations can be made directly to the food bank, 219 S. Third St. W., or by using the food bank’s direct online link.

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