“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
Each year, the “Brawl of the Wild” clash between the University of Montana Grizzlies and Montana State University Bobcats kicks off the annual holiday food drive in Valier. This year, with no “brawl” scheduled until spring due to COVID-19, organizers Pam McFarland, Scott Curry and Wendy Judisch are hoping grid iron fans from both teams will still help “tackle” hunger in the Valier community once again.
Beginning this week, Judisch will have a box set up to accept food donations at Curry’s Market. Cash donations can also be dropped off at the local grocery store to help purchase the items for the holiday food baskets.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, McFarland said she anticipates the need this year will be even greater due to the strain COVID-19 has put on families, individuals and businesses.
Organizers are counting on the generosity of Valier area residents to once again open their hearts and pocketbooks to help those local families who could use a little help putting food on the table this holiday season.
Valier has a long-standing tradition of providing food boxes to local families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. “We’re looking at providing many more food baskets this Thanksgiving and again at Christmas due to the tough times many folks are experienceing,” said McFarland,
Approximately 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food items are collected during the Cat vs. Griz food challenge. Food items received during the challenge are used for the food baskets or donated to the Valier Food Pantry. McFarland doesn’t mind pointing out, for the past several years, the Bobcat fans have won the challenge, donating more non-perishable food items for the holiday food baskets than Griz fans.
After the Cat vs. Griz game, local residents continued to donate to the holiday food baskets by purchasing food at Curry’s Market and placing the food in the donation box. “We make sure the families have a complete Christmas dinner–turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salad, rolls, butter, pie, even the whip cream–the whole meal,” said McFarland.
Cash donations are accepted at Curry’s and are used to purchase large ticket items like the turkeys or to fill in on items needed that weren’t donated.
“Valier is one of those special places where people take care of their own,” smiled McFarland. “We are blessed. Our residents always rally to help those in need,” she added.
Donations can be mailed to:
Attn: Holiday Food Baskets
P.O. Box 7
Valier, MT 59486
Without the support of Curry’s Market and the countless Valier area residents who make the food boxes possible, several families in Valier wouldn’t have much to celebrate this holiday season.
If your family needs a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner basket to make your holiday merrier, or you would like to make a donation to this effort, please call McFarland at Counseling Connections, at 279-3538 and leave your name and phone number.
“The Valier community is always so generous in helping with this community project,” said an appreciative McFarland. “We can’t thank them enough.”