Whitefish Community Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to North Valley Food Bank to support the organization’s facility expansion project. The grant was made possible by members of the Whitefish Community Foundation’s Circle of Giving and other donors who support the Major Community Project Fund.

North Valley Food Bank has experienced a 300 percent increase in demand for their services since 2019. To address the growing problem of food insecurity in the Flathead Valley, the organization recently launched a $1.15 million capital project to expand warehouse space and create an onsite commercial kitchen.

The expanded facility will include larger walk-in refrigeration and freezer units that staff and volunteers can access with an automated handcart or fork lift. The food bank moves approximately 100,000 pounds of food and supplies through its warehouse every month, three times what the organization handled in 2019.

The project also includes adding a commercial kitchen to the facility so staff and volunteers can process, preserve and store nutritional foods throughout the year, including seasonal fruits and vegetables.

“The support from Whitefish Community Foundation for our remodel will make a big difference in our community,” said Sophie Albert, North Valley Food Bank Executive Director. “The remodel is necessary to address the significant increase in the need for food assistance in the Whitefish area. Since 2019, the number of individuals North Valley Food Bank serves regularly has tripled to 4,445,” she said.

Albert said the organization needs to raise an additional $250,000 to complete the project. Donations can be made online at northvalleyfoodbank.org or by calling Albert at (406) 862-5863.

The Major Community Project Fund at Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations complete capital projects that will have a significant and positive effect on communities in the Flathead Valley. Since the inception of the fund in 2010, $669,000 has been awarded to projects selected by the Whitefish Community Foundation Board of Directors.

Whitefish Community Foundation is dedicated to fostering philanthropy, building endowments, and helping donors and nonprofits benefit communities in the Flathead Valley. For more information, visit www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.

Photo:  Whitefish Community Foundation presented a $25,000 grant to the North Valley Food Bank on July 22, 2021 to support the organization’s facility expansion project. Pictured from left to right are David Dittman, Betsy Bayne, Linda Engh-Grady, Sophie Albert, Linda Maetzold, Carol B. Atkinson, Lynnette Donaldson, Ardy Whisler, Elizabeth Temple and Maureen Casey.