The annual Can the Cats food drive is going on now, but it's not just about competing with Bozeman. It's about taking care of our friends and neighbors who may be going through a rough patch in their lives this holiday season.

Montanans are generous and sometimes want to help, but either don't know how, or don't have time. Here's how you can help in less than 30 seconds or the next time you're at the grocery store.

Simply text the word "nourish" to the number 52000 to instantly donate $5 to the Missoula Food Bank. You will receive a text back saying that the $5 was added to your phone bill, it's that easy! And not only will it help 'Can the Cats,' but each donation will buy 15 meals for local families.

When it comes to donating actual groceries, it can be difficult to decide on what would be most helpful. Here is a list of the most wanted and needed food items.

  • Canned tuna or meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned soup
  • Canned veggies
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Cooking oil
  • Salad dressings
  • Canned beans
  • Mac & cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Shelf-stable milk

You can find shelf-stable liquid milk in cases at Costco, it doesn't need to be refrigerated. The Missoula Food Bank is located at 219 S. 3rd Street W., downtown near the Hip Strip.

Donations also help the local Empower Packs project, which fills bags with enough food for the weekend to leave in the lockers of children who may need them.