The Board of Directors of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation announced today a special holiday donation of $207,000 to 73 food banks, food pantries, rescue missions, and homeless shelters across Montana. This marks the 10th year that the Foundation Board has approved this special holiday giving program.
The number of hungry people in Montana continues to be a serious concern and has not reduced significantly in the last several years. An estimated 136,000 or 13 percent of Montanans live in poverty. Additionally, Montana ranks 42nd in the nation for the number of low-income working families; 47th for low-income minority working families; 41st for children in low-income working families; and 42nd for jobs in occupations paying below the poverty line. However, numbers alone do not reflect the number of people who are struggling to find enough food.
Increased costs of utilities, food, housing, and transportation make it difficult for children, families, and seniors to make ends meet. With these struggling families and high-risk groups in mind, the Foundation’s holiday giving program is designed to give an extra boost to basic needs organizations across the state so they will have the necessary resources to help our most vulnerable citizens.
“The Foundation is focused on giving youth and their families the security of knowing where their next meal is coming from,” Foundation Executive Director Mike Halligan said. “Montana continues to experience a high rate of child poverty and this special holiday donation to food banks, rescue missions, food pantries, and homeless shelters is designed to assure that the needs of our fellow Montanans are met – especially for children and their families.”