Newsroom & FAQ’s

Inquiries & Requests

For inquiries from the press or other media, requests for interviews or speakers, or requests to use Helena Food Share print or digital materials, please contact:

Patty White
Communications Director
email: patty@helenafoodshare.org
p: 406-443-3663 ext 109

For general inquires about our services, email info@helenafoodshare.org or call 406-443-3663.

 

FAQ’s: Programs & Impact

Programs

Helena Food Share is home to a number of programs uniquely designed to reduce hunger in our community. Other than Farmers Market Coupons and Senior Commodities, there are no income requirements for participating in the programs.

Grocery Share
Customers shop for items such as milk, eggs, meat, and peanut butter in the Pantry monthly, and weekly for other perishable food items like produce, bread, dairy, etc.
What is shopping like in the Pantry?
Customers can visit the Pantry once a week. There are no income requirements to shop. After checking in at the front door, we ask that a short intake form be completed during their first visit. All information is kept confidential. Customers can shop for what they need and friendly volunteers and staff are available to help with the shopping experience.
Kid Packs
A special pack of kid-friendly foods that provides weekend nutrition during the school year for pre-school and elementary school kids at risk of hunger. Contact your child’s school counselor for how to participate in this program.
Helena Food Share Garden
Our garden grows fresh produce for Helena Food Share customers. The garden offers customers a chance to get fresh, locally grown food and provides educational opportunities for home gardening.
Senior Farmers Market Coupons and Senior Commodity Boxes
Low-income eligible adults age 60 and older receive $50 worth of coupons to shop at the local farmer’s market. The monthly commodity boxes provide a staple of nutritious food in addition to what seniors can get at the pantry. Both programs are funded by a USDA grant through MT DPHHS.
Click Here for details on low-income eligibility and distribution dates.
Holiday Meal Share
As an extra for the holidays, customers receive a holiday turkey and sides so they can serve a traditional holiday meal.
Grocery Rescue
Generous grocers in the Helena area donate food every weekday to Helena Food Share. Good food that isn’t being sold and would otherwise be discarded is set aside, brought to our warehouse, sorted, and made available for customers to shop.
Emergency Food Packs
For people with an urgent need, we offer a special pack of high-calorie food that provides immediate nutrition. We prepare these packs for use by the police department, EMTs, God’s Love, and other human services organizations in the Helena area.

Impact

The Need for Food:

How many people in Helena need help getting food?
One in 7 adults and one in 5 children in Helena are food insecure.*
* Food Insecurity definition – being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food
Who uses Helena Food Share?
We supply food to approx. 8,000 individuals in the Helena area. 99% of our customers are at or below the poverty level.
How has the pandemic affected the need for food?
In 2020: after the pandemic began, we saw a 40% increase in new customers each month on average.

Helena Food Share Impact:

How many people in Helena are served by Helena Food Share?
In 2021: 6,376 unique individuals were served in 3,229 unique households. An average of 1,300 households are served each month. Overall, 16,809 Grocery Share services were distributed in 2021. In 2022, the number of people using our services each month is returning to pre-pandemic numbers.
How much food does Helena Food Share distribute?
Over 1.85 million pounds of food were provided in 2021. That much food put over 1.5 million meals on tables in our community.
How much is distributed thru CFAP-Farmers To Families?
In 2020: 22,195 boxes of produce were distributed thru CFAP, an average of 3,699 per month. The number of individuals or households served was not tracked. This program did not operate in 2021.
How many meals are distributed for the holidays?
In 2021: 1,909 meals were distributed for Thanksgiving & Christmas at Helena Food Share and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Boxes included turkey/ham, produce & sides.
How many Kid Packs do you provide to local schools?
An average of 1,000 packs of weekend meals & snacks are distributed each week to Helena and East Helena Pre-K, Elementary and Middle School students who experience chronic food insecurity.
How many Emergency Food Packs do you give out?
The need for Emergency Packs in 2021 more than doubled from the previous year, with a total of 3,259 packs distributed through 12 partner agencies.
How many participate in your Senior Programs?
In 2021, an average of 243 senior households were served every other month with Senior Commodities and 203 participated in the Farmer’s Market Coupons.
How much food does a donation provide?
For every $6.00 donated, an average of 10 meals is provided to an individual.
Has Helena Food Share been able to meet the need during the pandemic?
Throughout the pandemic, donors have been generous, helping us meet the need for food support in our community every week. We continue to rely on their support as the need grows.

Additional Resources

About Helena Food Share & Mission

Helena Food Share Brand Guidelines

Media Kit for Food or Fund Drives

Staff

Board of Directors

Leadership Bios

In The News

Annual Reports

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