The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Triangle Sponsors Food Bank Raffle

 

April 7, 2021



The Big Sandy Food Bank is raffling off a half a pig to raise money to support their food distribution program. Tickets are $5 and the drawing will be held April 30th. They can be purchased from the Senior Center, the offices of the Big Sandy Activity Center, the Mint Bar, or at the Mountaineer Office. They can also be purchased from Terry Grant or LeaAnn Williams. The fundraiser is a result of the generosity of Triangle Communications. The company purchased pigs and cows from 4-H groups last year as a part of their efforts to support the 4-H program. The company then doubled the community impact of the program by awarding the meat to food banks and senior centers around the state.

Terry Grant, the coordinator of the Big Sandy Food Bank, explained the process from there: “Our board met and discussed what we wanted to do with it. We had talked about distributing amongst our recipients through the food bank or to raffle the meat off. We decided that by raffling the meat off, it gives us money to purchase food items through The Grocery Store, which is where all of our supplies come from.” The food bank board weighed their options and decided that the raffle was a double-win for the community. First, it provides for the needs of the Food Bank. Second, because all of the supplies that stock the shelves of the Food Bank come from The Grocery Store in town, it keeps the proceeds in the community.

Triangle Communications pitched in further by printing the posters and tickets for the raffle, reducing the overhead for the raffle to nothing. This means that all of the money raised will go to help feed families in our community.

While discussing the impact and the work of the local food bank, Terry was quick to point out that the impact of the organization is directly tied to community support. With the raffle, nearly every aspect of the effort has been a product of locals stepping in and offering to help in some way. This began with Crystal Geyer, from the Senior Citizens Center, who offered advice and guidance for the running of the raffle based on her experience with a similar fundraiser for the center. She also offered to sell tickets at the center. Heather from BSA offered to help as well by selling tickets from the offices of BSA. Finally, while Terry was putting up posters around town, Marie from the Mint offered to help by selling tickets. “That type

of thing has made a big difference. This shows what the community does to support our programs,” Terry explained. He went on to point out how many people have shown up to help with the Farmers To Families program that is run through our local food bank. “I have several people who are constantly there for any aspect. A lot of people who show up and help out. LeaAnn Williams and her kids, Amy Sibra. Those two have been fantastic. As well as John Johnson and Jeremy Echols, those two have been a constant help. That helps make these programs successful.”

Last year, during the lockdowns, the food bank experienced a sharp rise in families in need of receiving assistance. In May of 2020, they were serving thirteen households with a total of 57 people. By September of 2020, that number had risen to 28 households and 89 people. The need has tapered somewhat in the past few months. “We still have about 12 or 13 families that are consistent needs. We’ve had some others who are off and on, and some that have moved away. We’ve seen it go down, but it’s not that people don’t need food, it’s just we have more sources to help get food out to people. With the Farmers to Families Program, it’s a Federal program and is good for anybody that wants food, not just food bank recipients. There is no income level. So that has made a big difference (in the level of need).”

Anyone interested in donating to the food bank, but not in purchasing tickets for the raffle can do so by adding money to the Food Bank account at The Grocery Store for smaller donations. For larger donations, you can call Terry Grant at 406-390-2922. If you are in need of assistance from the Food Bank or know of someone with a need, contact Terry.

 
 

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