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Billings-area churches and congregations will celebrate Food Bank Sunday this weekend by gathering food and funds for the Billings Food Bank. Extra help is needed this month to not only keep up with increased requests for regular food assistance, but also to provide special Christmas holiday food boxes to more than 5,000 area families.

Billings Food Bank is celebrating its first Christmas in its newly rebuilt facility. As with this year’s Thanksgiving food box distribution, agencies will give vouchers to their clients, who in turn will pick up their holiday boxes on a given date at the new food bank, which will streamline the food delivery process.

Thanksgiving meals were provided to 6,474 families or individuals by the agencies of the Billings Food Bank. More than 1,500 Thanksgiving meals were provided by the Montana Rescue Mission and other on-site programs with turkeys prepared in the new food bank kitchens by the members of Montana Chefs and Cooks.

It is anticipated that more people will ask for Christmas assistance. The shopping list consists of canned fruits, macaroni and cheese, soup, cranberry sauce, pastas, rice, peanut butter, pork and beans, stuffing, potatoes (fresh or dry), Bisquick or flour, cereal, tomato (sauce, paste, whole), one-can meals, tuna/canned meats and, of course, turkeys, hams and turkey rolls. Please note that fresh meats should not be placed in the Food Bank barrels at church. They should be delivered to the Food Bank, or call for a pickup.

Billings Food Bank provides food to a number of area nonprofits. Monthly food boxes are also provided to more than 2,150 families enrolled in the food bank’s Senior Nutrition Program, for people age 60 or older and meeting income guidelines. Applications for this program are available from the Billings Food Bank. All food and services are provided to these agencies at no cost.

Volunteers are always appreciated at the food bank, especially during this time of year.

To volunteer, if you have food donations you are unable to deliver or have questions, call 259-2856. Billings Food Bank’s new building is complete; however it is operating from both locations (2112 Fourth Ave. N. and 218 N. 16th St.) until the transition is complete. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1158, Billings, MT 59103.

All donations made through a Food Bank Sunday church are spent on food purchases, unless otherwise designated. The temporary administration office is located at 2530 Second Ave. N.

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