Blackfeet Food Distribution Program Director Roy Crawford and warehouse foreman Justin Gallineaux are seen with the program’s newest addition.“This cargo van was purchased from 2018 reallocated funds which I put in for a year ago and was awarded in June of this year,” said Blackfeet Food Distribution Program Director Roy Crawford. “It was just all about timing to get it done. I shopped from Idaho and across Montana on pricing and quality and found Auto Trim in Helena that does all the BIA police cars. The cargo delivery van was purchased from Dave Smith Motors in Kellogg, ID, and they worked tremendously with our program.
“The use of the vehicle is to deliver to the elderly and handicapped monthly commodities. I have been working on replacing and updating our fleet. The big blue delivery truck won’t get done until spring since we need warm weather and because of the size of the truck. It won’t fit in their garage. I’m am currently trying to secure funding in the next year for another big, newer truck with refrigeration. Also we are working on a program travel vehicle as well.
“We have worked hard with the regional federal offices to bring the program up to date as well as the quality and variety of food the USDA offers in the food package. We have stepped away from ordering from the state warehouse in Helena, and we are now on a national contract so we get our commodities from the National Federal Warehouse in Nampa, ID. Making that move allows us to order directly from the Federal National catalog rather than the limited selections available from the state warehouse.
“Our people, the Blackfeet people, deserve programs that operate with the scope of our grants, within means of our budgets, and with the people as our focus, and that’s what we are trying to achieve here at the Blackfeet Food Distribution Program. We all have uphill battles with the uncertainty of budgets cuts and employee shortfalls, but that’s the business aspect of life, and if we keep the focus on serving our people then uphill battles become walks in the park.,” Crawford concluded.