It has been another busy year at Missoula Food Bank & Community Center. Changes have occurred at every level of our organization, and as Board Chair, I am proud to be a part of our ongoing work to identify and meet community needs and to engage those closest to the issues of poverty and food insecurity in finding and implementing solutions.
One internal change has been a shift in organizational leadership, as we have prioritized lived experience on our Board of Directors. Our board adopted new bylaws last year dictating that a minimum of half of our board members will be from low-income households. This change has added valuable perspectives and skills to our already strong governance model.
We also are moving forward to add medical care at the food bank through a collaboration with Partnership Health Center. Construction will begin this winter on a medical facility that PHC will occupy on the second floor of our facility, increasing access for our neighborhood and our customers to medical, behavioral, and (in the future) dental health care.
Overall, our focus is two-fold. We are committed to organizing and building collaborations that move the needle on the upstream issues that contribute to so many of our neighbors needing to use the food bank. At the same time, we are focused on the quality of our programming to respond to the acute demand for emergency services today. This year we have experienced a nearly 20% increase in the number of services we are providing through our nutrition programs. It is no small charge, impacting the lives of one in five people in Missoula County who would otherwise go without this basic need – but it is one we meet with resolve.
A community that shows up to help as volunteers and that gives generously as donors make everything we do possible. We have just kicked off our annual Holiday Drive; during the month of December, we need to raise $250,000 and 55,000 lbs of food so that we can continue to do this work. I hope you will join me in giving to this important effort that builds a stronger Missoula.
Thank you for being a part of Missoula Food Bank & Community Center.
Board Chair, Missoula Food Bank & Community Center
Join us for the 34th Annual Holiday Drive and help our local food bank raise $250,000 and 55,000 lbs of food for our local food bank.