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Generosity keeps the hungry fed

In this area of small communities it seems every year special things happen in our quest to help our neighbors. The Bread Basket Board continues to be amazed by the caring and generosity of people living here who do so much to help their neighbors whether it be those needing help feeding their families, youth joining Building Homes for Humanity, putting on free holiday dinners, or whatever the genuine need might be.

This has been a tough year for many and still we find the members of this community pitching in, remembering to think of others. Thank you for being an inspiration in how to work together to give to others and sharing what you have.

There are catchy phrases like "Be a Friend in Deed" (Town Pump), "Share in the Spirit of Giving" (Community Banks), and even nationally "Pass it On" (Foundation For a Better Life) to name a few worthy of attention. It is not, however, how creative the phrase is that's important. What matters is the "doing it," the giving of ourselves that is generated for the betterment of where we live.

We, at the Bread Basket appreciate more than we can ever say that we live in this community that does so much for others continuously.

From a snippet mentioning the Bread Basket on the bottom of a grocery ad for Harvest Foods' bi-annual case lots of canned goods sale to the generous gathering of food placed on all the class floats of the Homecoming Parade, the spirit of giving shows.

Even the big corporations such as Washington's Corp that donated $3,000 and Town Pump matched funds of $5,000 donated, local donations came to $1,928 to the Bread Basket, Anderson Broadcasting collected food at the grocery stores for the past two months, $1,638 came from the Spirit Baskets at Community Banks and half went to the Polson Loaves and Fishes food pantry. Ronan Telephone Company has faithfully supported us since the beginning in so many ways. Look at the extremely generous donations of independent businesses like Treasure State Concrete giving $2,500, White's Meats donated 314 pounds of beef, not to mention those that give their support throughout the year. Everywhere one looks, you can see those who care and become involved in helping.

There are the various community clubs and organizations like Weight Watchers, Saddle Mountain 4-H, Charlo Jr. Stockgrowers, and the FFA who donated, plus several of the Ronan Bowling Leagues who gathered 400 pounds of food, local churches like the Catholic Church that donated the Rice Bowl collection as well.

We are blessed this year to have the women from the United Methodist Church give presents out to each of the individuals who came through our doors from the beginning of December until the end of the year. The spirit is passed on.

What a great gift we received not only in time, effort and money, but in the heritage we teach our children. Yes, what we do greatly influences them in a far greater way than by what we say. Our children will be the future of our country and our world. The investment is not only being made to our neighbors in need, but in the future of all we hold dear.

Our local schools never fail to give. Ronan Elementary and the Cub Scouts collected 392 pounds of food. The middle school collected donations of money as well as 683 pounds and the high school collected 789 pounds. Charlo schools donated 333 pounds. SKC gave a generous financial donation, while the students and staff gave 130 pounds of food and money that was gathered during their Christmas party.

There are the farmers, rancher and even the individuals who faithfully donate from their gardens or take the time to gather food, unload trucks, or to distribute. They do it. Every little thing is noticed and gratefully received by the Bread Basket. 

By everyone working together and sharing their generous spirits, we can indeed keep the hungry fed. Thanks to each and every one for your faithful support. We look forward to another year of serving our community.

It is with humble and grateful hearts that the board members of the Bread Basket wish you all a wonderful New Year filled with better times ahead for the citizens of our county and the hope for good health, food for the hungry, work for those in need and the blessings of your neighbors.

(Chris Shrider is the secretary of the Bread Basket Board.)

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