While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended life in nearly every corner of how we live and work in the Pacific Northwest, we are heartened to see the creative ways that nonprofits across our region have pivoted to find new ways to serve the emerging needs of their constituents. Daily, we are hearing stories of organizations whose core services have been disrupted or completely shuttered, yet find new ways to deploy their staff and resources in service to the common good.
We find one such example in the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County where daily operations look different under the impact of the Coronavirus. While no longer buzzing with the energy of after-school activities and sports, both clubs still serve as outposts of hope and service for Western Montana.
Unable to host in-person programming for children, the clubs recognized their ability to provide food service to a large group thanks to their industrial kitchens and overall facility space. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County have expanded evening meal programs to serve grab and go dinners to every community within the reservation, totaling over 1,000 meals served each night. Each meal includes an entrée and a serving of fruit, vegetables, grains.
Volunteers operate the facility, preparing up to 700 entrée servings at a time and even making bread from scratch with state-of-the-art kitchen equipment. The meals are then packed into sanitary and travel-friendly paper bags and placed into donated coolers for distribution. This work is carried out with faithful adherence to Montana’s social distancing guidelines. As the demand for meals has increased, the clubs have responded with increased support with help from donors and volunteers who keep the process flowing.
We are grateful to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County that help serve the common good through innovative thinking and tireless dedication.