Food Bank chefs

In November 2018, Carl Kurokowa, right, jokes with volunteer chefs and food service professionals as they prepare 1,000 Thanksgiving dinners to be served at the Montana Rescue Mission and Billings Food Bank in the Food Bank's kitchen. The chefs are scheduled to volunteer their time and talents again this Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving less than three weeks away, the Billings Food Bank is making plans to host its annual, free community feast at its spacious kitchen dining room, 2112 Fourth Avenue North. 

For a second year, holiday dinners will be delivered on request on Thanksgiving Day to folks who aren't able to get out for dinner. This is a wonderful service for community members who are elderly or disabled, so they can enjoy a taste of Thanksgiving.

Good food and a shared meal is such an important part of the Thanksgiving tradition in America. Yet many restaurants and meal programs are closed so their employees can enjoy Thanksgiving Day off with their families and friends.

Thank goodness for the Billings Food Bank volunteers who will spend part of their holiday serving or delivering dinners on Nov. 28.

Some volunteers have already scheduled their Thanksgiving shift at the Food Bank, but Executive Director Sheryle Shandy said more are needed and welcome. 

Last year, the Food Bank served or delivered hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners with the help of about 40 volunteers.

This year's free community dinner will be served from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. The Food Bank's second-floor dining room is accessible by elevator. Everyone who wants to share a delicious meal is invited.

The main course, turkey and traditional side dishes, will be expertly prepared by members of the Chefs and Cooks of Montana. The professional chefs will volunteer their time to start cooking in the Food Bank's commercial kitchen on Monday of Thanksgiving week.

Many Billings organizations help provide food to needy community members year-round. Salvation Army's Community Table van distributes evening meals. Hungry folks know they can get weekday lunch at St. Vincent de Paul Society. Family Service provides boxes of groceries. Montana Rescue Mission serves meals in its homeless shelters. Emergency food pantries organized by volunteers discreetly distribute food to needy students in our local middle schools, high schools and colleges. Back Packs for Kids partners with elementary teachers and counselors to send packs of nutritious, easy-to-open, foods home with children to eat on weekends. Local churches work with these organizations and others. Dozens of local faith congregations open their doors to shelter and feed homeless families through Family Promise of Yellowstone County.

Our community is stronger and healthier thanks to all of these organizations.


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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.