The Community Food Resource Center will enable Helena Food Share meet the growing demands for food support in the Helena area, tap new sources of food recovery, and provide flexible food delivery options. The new center offers built-in flexibility for expansion during times of greater need.
Take a Look Inside
Larger Food Market allows more people to shop comfortably, with a broader selection of nutritious foods
Current: Limited space in the current pantry creates long lines, a lack of privacy, stressful noise levels, and makes it challenging to stock shelves when people are shopping.
Future: A larger shopping space will offer a retail-type shopping experience with improved flow and safety, along with a greater selection. As a result, more people will be able to access the food they need in an environment designed for ease of movement and privacy, making the shopping experience less stressful. A lobby and private intake areas will help eliminate waiting outdoors and lack of privacy.
Onsite & Expanded Warehouse increases food distribution efficiency
Current: The current warehouse, which is a block away from the pantry, is undersized, aging, and rented by Helena Food Share. The space is inadequate to receive and store food donations and bulk purchases.
Future: With a larger, integrated loading dock and warehouse with dedicated spaces for food receiving and distribution, the efficiency of food delivery will increase. The larger, more effective space will allow Helena Food Share to accept more donations and store more food, which is critical to operations as the need increases.
Processing Space and Production Kitchen increases total food distribution
Current: The existing facility cannot process all the food needed and does not have the required equipment to prepare and preserve all the food available for rescue.
Future: Dedicated areas for processing and packaging food, including a commercial production kitchen, will enhance the ability to prep and repackage food. This will allow for an expansion of food rescue, as well as the ability to preserve surplus fresh food and produce from local suppliers, farms, and area gardens. Pre-packaged heat-and-serve meals will now be available to meet new and changing customer needs.
Community Spaces provide areas to gather and to teach healthy eating and cooking skills
Current: Small food demonstrations are held inside the pantry, and an onsite garden provides exposure to gardening but inadequate space limits hands-on, experiential learning.
Future: Teaching those in need how to economically prepare nutritious food is a critical building block for creating a healthy community. Flexible, community education spaces will provide skills-building opportunities (i.e., cooking, nutrition, gardening, etc.), empowering customers to adopt healthy eating habits.
Additional Facility Highlights
- The new 20,500-square-foot building houses all services and workspace under one roof.
- A larger shopping area accommodates 3 times the number of shoppers inside, eliminating wait times outside.
- The expanded warehouse provides 3 times the storage space with additional project space to build Kid Packs.
- New food prep spaces allow for more seamless and expedited food distribution.
- A commercial kitchen, allows repackaging, processing and preserving food, expanding delivery options and providing healthy, freshly preserved and nutritious food all year long.
- A community education space brings customers and the community together for skills-building classes to provide knowledge that leads to better health.
- A new demonstration garden drives home the importance of fresh food and nutrition for the health of our community.
- Plenty of off-street parking provides easier access for grocery pick-up.
Help Build a Hunger-Free Community—Give Now!
Your gift will ensure that everyone in Helena has access to nutritious food—so children can succeed in school, so families can thrive, and seniors won’t have to decide between buying food and other necessities.
Thank you for your support!