On Monday, Family Service, a local nonprofit charity serving our community for more than 112 years, had a historic opening. After 35 years at our previous location, we have moved and are open for business in our new facility at 3927-3931 First Ave. S. in Billings.
A grand opening celebration, including a ribbon-cutting, is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at our new location. A barbecue will follow, sponsored by Food Services of America, Meadow Gold and Pepsi. We are so grateful to get to celebrate with our generous community, donors, supporters, volunteers and thousands of people who lend a hand when times are tough. This will be our “forever home” and today, we say thank you and hooray!
What a joy to have a new place to help more people in need than ever. Our new facility includes two buildings and supports new or improved services for our neighbors in need. These include:
- Expanded food box capability in the Client Choice Food Room, allowing families and seniors in need to select their own food boxes, reducing food waste. This feature will also allow more clients to be helped each day, lifting families toward stability and self-sufficiency.
- On-site processing of the Supplemental Commodity Food Program for seniors in need. This monthly food distribution provides a wonderful food bag of shelf-stable items for seniors who are 60 or older, living on less than $1,300 per month. Sign-ups and re-certifications can be done at the Family Service reception desk.
- Enhanced donation drop-off for donors bringing gently used, clean household items and clothing as donations. Donors can now drive through the front building, 3931 First Ave. S., to drop off donations inside, under a roof and out of the elements. This better protects valuable donations and make the process friendly and easier.
- A larger thrift store and 50¢ Clothing Quarter provides shoppers from all walks of life a fun and diverse shopping experience, with wide choices and value prices. Anyone and everyone can shop at Family Service to find treasures and bargains.
- Distribution of food to the pantries on the eastern side of Montana begins this summer. It is a new program which kicks off soon and is in collaboration with Montana Food Bank Network to get more food to those in need on the eastern side of the state.
Other new programs and improved programs are planned and will begin soon. Lots is happening here at Family Service and we hope you will join us. Volunteers for every program are needed. Please call the office, 406-259-2269, for details and applications.
Family Service started in 1906 to help the poor with basic needs. While circumstances and methods of assistance have changed over the decades, today’s mission of preventing hunger, homelessness and poverty in Yellowstone County and surrounding areas through community involvement has the same goal, to help our neighbors in need toward stability and self-sufficiency. Family Service relies on the generous support of our community to lift those in need. Almost no governmental funding is received; only a small state stipend supports the Supplemental Commodity Food Program for seniors.
Last year, more than 15,000 households, families and seniors in need received vital essentials like bountiful food boxes, emergency rent or utility assistance, no/low cost clothing, birthday books for children under 18, and even education assistance for better employment.