For the past three years, NCAT has been partnering with Montana State University Extension Butte-Silver Bow, Montana Tech, Main Street Uptown Butte, Butte Farmers Market, and AmeriCorps programs including FoodCorps, Energy Corps, Big Sky Watershed Corps, and RSVP to host a 9/11 day of remembrance service project. Feeding those in need has always been the main focus, and volunteers gather to glean produce from gardeners and farmers in the surrounding area to support the Butte Emergency Food Bank.
During the week of September 5, 2016, volunteers helped local gardeners harvest their gardens in order to donate fresh vegetables to the food bank. The food gathered included produce from NCAT’s food bank plot, the food bank plots at the Park Street Community Garden, gardeners around town, and vendors at the Farmers Markets. This food was then taken to the Food Bank and processed by volunteers into value-added products like salsa, stir fry packs, and root vegetable stew bags for distribution to those in need through the Butte Food Bank and Rescue Mission.
In 2015, this gleaning effort brought in hundreds of pounds of fresh local produce. This year, thanks to donations from the community and growers from the surrounding area, the Food Bank collected even more produce, over 500 pounds!The Food Bank accepts garden produce donations year round, Monday-Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. If you’re interested in making a produce donation to the Butte Emergency Food Bank, call 782-6230 or 494-8672 with questions regarding backyard gleaning efforts.