The Montana Food Bank Network based in Missoula will be the recipient of nearly 3,000 pounds of fresh apples to help feed hungry families in the Missoula area, thanks to Charlie’s Produce and the Good Food Store.

KGVO News spoke with Amy Bach, Business Development Manager for First Fruits Marketing in Washington about the continuing annual donation.

“We have partnered with Charlie's Produce in Spokane and the Good Food Store (in Missoula) to continue this program,” said Bach. “We're now in our 12th year and Charlie's Produce and the Good Food Store have been participating the last eight years of this program, essentially because we recognized a need in these communities.”

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Bach said the 3,000 pounds of fresh apples are always a welcome addition to the dry goods normally available to local food banks and pantries.

“The food banks in our communities get a lot of dried food and canned food and non perishables, which are great, but people in our communities that are utilizing the food banks are missing out on a lot of fresh, nutritious food,” she said. “Our goal was to partner with our retail accounts and give back to these communities through Charlie's Produce and the Good Food Store to provide that nutritious food.”

Bach explained the arrangement between the regional and local providers to make the fresh fruit donation possible.

“Here’s how it works,” she said. “Charlie's Produce and the Good Food Store purchase apples from us from January to March, and through those orders, we give back a portion of that donation to them to be donated in their name to a food bank of their choice,” she said.

Bach said there will be a special presentation at the Montana Food Bank Network on Tuesday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m.

“The donation is actually going to be in the name of Charlie's Produce and the good Food Store,” she said. “The full 3,000 pounds of apples are going to be delivered to the Montana Food Bank Network on Tuesday, and then they'll be delivered to those food pantries and food banks to be distributed to the public.”

KGVO News also spoke with Brent Weisgram, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Montana Food Bank Network, who said the apples will be delivered to 25 local service providers, including the Missoula Food Bank, Watson’s Children’s Shelter, the YWCA, Clark Fork City Church Food Pantry, the Poverello Center and the University of Montana Food Pantry. Click this link to see the total list of providers.

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