Roundup for Safety helps fund backup generator for North Valley Food Bank

The Roundup for Safety Board awarded a total of $28,900 in community safety grants to nonprofit organizations at its June 9 meeting, including a $10,000 grant for the North Valley Food Bank (NVFB).

Elizabeth Temple and Sophie Albert spoke on behalf of the NVFB, discussing its need for a backup generator to ensure the safety of its food inventory for community members in need. “It is critical that we are able to continuously serve our community, especially during times of emergency, such as a power outage,” Executive Director Albert noted. At any given time, the Food Bank stores an estimated 35,000 pounds of perishable food in its cooler and freezers, at a value of $60,000 to $100,000. This summer, a new harvesting and gleaning program is expected to add an additional 20,000 pounds of perishable produce to the inventory.

walk-in cooler at North Valley Food Bank

Albert updated the Board on the increasing need for the NVFB’s services, revealing that it is serving a record number of 270 to 330 households each week in Whitefish, Trego, Olney and Essex. In addition, the NVFB stores produce and dairy products for partner food banks in Browning, the Yaak, Libby, Eureka, and Troy, who collectively assist another 600 households weekly. The NVFB also occasionally stores food for additional partners, such as Whitefish based Land to Hand.

In awarding the request, the Roundup for Safety Board of Directors noted the additional community support and funding partners for the NVFB generator project, including a $10,000 Community Grant Award from the Whitefish Community Foundation.

Other projects funded during the June meeting included:

  • Samaritan House – $8,800 – safety cameras
  • Friends of Historic Hotel Libby – $2,000 – safety hazard removal
  • Columbia Falls High School Baseball – $8,100 – AED, sports-safety equipment

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for Flathead Electric Cooperative members who allow their electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar, with the extra money going into a fund for community safety projects proposed by nonprofit organizations and considered by an independent board.

To date in 2022, the Roundup for Safety Board has awarded $126,828 in community safety project funding. Grants are considered each month. Applications are due June 30 and accepted on Flathead Electric Co-op’s website. The Roundup for Safety Board next meets on July 14. For additional information about the program, visit www.flatheadelectric.com/roundup or call Courtney Stone at 406-751-1820.