Town Pump goal for fund raising for food banks is $2 million

The Town Pump Charitable Foundation hopes to raise over $2 million in its 11th annual fundraising campaign for food banks across Montana, including the Pondera Food Pantry in Conrad.

Food bank representatives locally and statewide report an ever-growing demand to feed the hungry in Montana. A record 67 food banks across Montana are participating in the “Be A Friend in Deed, Helping Those In Need” campaign this year.

The campaign has raised over $10.5 million for food banks statewide in 10 years, including $1.8 million in matching grants from the Town Pump Charitable Foundation. As part of this year’s campaign, the Town Pump Charitable Foundation will match up to $450,000 in contributions to Montana food banks made now through Nov. 30. That amount is $50,000 more than last year.

The Foundation will match up to $3,000 on behalf of the Pondera Food Pantry, which is $500 more than last year. All funds raised in Conrad will remain in the community.

The money is used to purchase perishable food items such as milk, bread, fruit and vegetables. Also, the funds are becoming more crucial in helping many food bank organizations simply stay open through payment of rent, utilities, and space for storage, refrigeration and freezing.

Elmer Phillips, of the Pondera Food Pantry, said the people of Conrad have always supported the Town Pump campaign and other drives very well.

“We’re pretty lucky here,” he said “We have a very generous community.”

“Unfortunately, more and more Montana families don’t have enough to eat,” said Maureen Kenneally, of the Town Pump Charitable Foundation. “Through the dedicated effort of our food bank partners and the generosity of thousands of Montanans, we can make a difference in the lives of our hungry neighbors.”

Donations for the campaign are being collected at the Conrad Town Pump, Lucky Lil’s and Super 8 Motel. Donations also can be sent directly to Pondera Food Pantry, c/o Elmer Philipps, 174 Jadel Lane, Conrad, 59425.