The Poverello Center in Missoula desperately needs donations during this difficult time. According to Director of Development and Advocacy Jesse Jaeger, it also doesn’t help that many of their clients are at higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19.

“People experiencing homelessness experience a lot of pretty challenging health outcomes and have complicated health histories,” Jaeger said. “This COVID-19 pandemic is a particular challenge to them. We are doing everything we can right now to help keep people healthy here at the Poverello Center.”

The Poverello Center has seen a 50% drop in food coming in and about 90% of their food comes from the Food Rescue Program, which is a truck that goes around and gathers grocery store food that is about to expire. They are looking for food, toiletry, and cleaning supply donations.

"We are asking people to call ahead of time,” Jaeger said. “The phone number that they should call is 406-529-5643. When you come by to drop off your donations, a staff member will come out of the building and they will grab them for you. One of the things we are concerned about is bringing any kind of sickness into the building right now. We will come to you and we are thankful for your support.”

The Poverello Center will pick up any excess foods from restaurants who would like to donate. Jaeger says the community can help the Poverello Center by donating the following items:

  • Starches (like noodles, rice and potatoes)
  • Meat
  • Produce
  • Sandwich making supplies (like bread, sliced meat, cheese, and condiments)
  • Non-perishable canned foods

 

“We are just so thankful for the Missoula community,” Jaeger said. “They come back again and again to help the Poverello Center. We work with some of our most vulnerable neighbors and Missoula is a city that takes care of its neighbor. We appreciate all the support we get.”

The Poverello Center gathers 8,000 to 13,000 pounds of food from grocery stores to serve 400 to 600 meals a day out of their soup kitchen.