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Give Your Favorite UM Student A ‘Bear Hug’

Mick Pengelly
Hear Hugs 1

They may be sick in bed, facing a tough test, or just missing home, what that UM student needs is a ‘Bear Hug‘.

No, not a personal visit from Monte, but a gift basket from U< Dining Services, gift-wrapped and hand delivered right to their dorm room.

Tori Bigelow is the ‘Bear Hugs’ coordinator for UM Dining Services, and her own experience receiving a ‘Bear Hug’ as a student made her the perfect person to head up the program.

“I was an undergrad student myself as a freshman seven years ago, and I was sick in bed in my residence hall, and got a ‘get-well’ Bear Hug delivered to my room, and it has Powerade, and saltine crackers and lots of other gifts and it just made me feel so much better,” Bigelow said. “It was nice to know that my parent was thinking of me and sent me that gift. Now, seven years later, I am in charge of that program.”

Most of the food gifts are made here in Montana, as part of UM Dining Services’ Farm to College’ program.

“In a typical Bear Hug, we’ll include trail mix from Bozeman called Yellowstone Snacks, we have coffee that’s roasted here in Montana and it’s designed for backpacking, really lightweight with a biodegradable filter,” she said. “We have a huge selection of foods that are perfect for anyone with allergies, vegan and gluten-free options, just a lot of tasty stuff that’s good for you.”

The cost of a Bear Hug varies from cupcakes for $7.50, to a once-a-month delivery from parents to a UM student called the Grizzly Hug Subscription for about $155 for the year.

One of Bigelow’s Bear Hug assistants delivers the baskets to students in their residence halls, though she’s thinking that Monte would be a great option, in between football games.

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