Fairfield now has its own full-fledged food pantry.
On Friday, Diane Bremer and her Eagle Plus students moved food items from Fairfield Elementary School to the food pantry’s new location in the former Fairfield Town Office in the Fairfield Community Hall Building.
The Fairfield Food Pantry had its beginnings when Fairfield Schools launched their Back-Pack Program, which offered students an opportunity to take food items, placed into a back-pack, home during weekends.
Currently, the Back-Pack Program serves 16 Fairfield students.
The new organization, a 501(c)3, was created as an “assumed business name” under the Fairfield Education and Community Association, which was recently created to serve as an umbrella organization.
According to Fairfield Food Pantry committee members Chelsea Schilling and Megan Caffyn, the new food pantry will be better able to serve the growing needs of the school as well as the community.
Megan and Chelsea told the Sun Times that sixty-five per cent of students enrolled in Fairfield meet the qualifications for free and reduced-price lunches at the school.
In Fairfield, there are twenty-six families who need supplemental food aid.
In addition to Chelsea and Megan, the board also consists of Phil Maxwell and Trudy Whitmore.
The planners hope to go beyond just filling a nutritional need in the community. They plan to offer clothing as well.
Megan and Chelsea said they have been impressed with the support for the undertaking, citing the help and support from the Fairfield Community Hall Board and Shelley Batson, Bob Garner Trucking and Marca Gibson at Gary Kasper and Company who guided them through the creation of the non-profit.
The group hopes that in the future volunteers will be able to help set regular hours for the office, to better serve the community.
The Fairfield Food Pantry is already set up with an account at First Bank of Montana in Fairfield, and people can make monetary donations there.
They are seeking long shelf-life foods, such as canned goods. No foods donated can be past their expiration date.
They are also accepting donations of clothing. Items donated must be in “like new” condition.
The food bank will continue to work with Fairfield Schools, coordinating students needs with Terria Arps.
Creation of a website and FaceBook page for the Fairfield Food Pantry are underway, and will be posted on the Sun Times FaceBook page [www.facebook.com/fairfieldmt/] and our website [fairfieldsuntimes.com] as soon as possible.
In the meantime, you can contact the food bank by calling Phil Maxwell at 590-6299; Megan Caffyn, 590-3150 or Chelsea Manning, 781-1285.