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Food pantries can use holiday food, funds

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Clients for food pantries in Polson and Ronan dropped by about 20 percent in September and October, but now numbers are climbing again as the holidays approach and the economy is still uncertain.

“We had a record day on Nov. 20,” said Bryan River, manager of Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. “We had 55 households for food alone, not counting people who came for bread and milk.”   

Many people donate to the Bread Basket in Ronan and Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry during the holiday season as a way of spreading good cheer. While money is always welcome, folks who would like to donate food are encouraged to bring in a turkey or any part of a Christmas dinner. 

River said Loaves and Fish doesn’t provide Thanksgiving turkeys because Polson holds a community Thanksgiving dinner at the Senior Citizens Center. 

Nancy Williams, treasurer of the Bread Basket, agreed. The Ronan community dinner was on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We give turkeys at Christmas,” Williams said. “Anything that goes with a Christmas dinner is appreciated.”

She named items such as turkeys, stuffing, squash, yams, Jello, fruit, potatoes, canned vegetables, broth, pumpkin, pudding, etc., specifically for the Christmas baskets.

“Everybody in December gets a turkey and all the fixings,” River said, echoing Williams. 

River said Loaves and Fish is doing pretty well. They always need protein — peanut butter, tuna fish, even wild game that’s been processed commercially. 

Loaves and Fish is considering a delivery service for elderly folks who can’t get out of their house, and would like to hear expressions of interest. 

Loaves and Fish opens its doors Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. Donations may be delivered to the pantry at 904 First St. E. or mailed to the same address.  

The Bread Basket is also open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

People can drop donations off at 10 Sixth Ave. SW or mail checks to P.O. Box 346, Ronan.


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