The Havre Food Bank is offering a sit-down opportunity to help feed the needy in the Havre area, with “A Chair at the Table” fundraiser set for Friday at the Atrium.
Karen Thomas, executive director of the District 4 Human Resources Development Council that oversees the operations of the food bank, said money raised will help pay the bills to keep the food bank operating, with up to $5,000 raised matched dollar-for-dollar by the Town Pump Foundation.
“And, we’re going to have a lot of fun, I think, ” she said.
Diane Getten, director of the food bank, said the local need for food assistance has increased recently, with people taking 50 more boxes of food for October than people requested in September.
“The need is still out there, ” Getten said, adding, that the 50 additional boxes was quite a jump.
The food bank distributed 10,429 pounds of food from January through October, she said.
Getten said that the need this year is about the same as last year, despite decreasing unemployment and increasing economic optimism across the country in recent weeks.
Some of that may be due to an accumulated effect, she added.
“People have fallen behind on their bills, ” Getten said. “When they do get employment, they still don’t have money to buy food. ”
The focus right now is on raising operating money for the food bank — the food fundraising comes into high focus next week when the Havre Fire Department holds its Everybody Loves Firefighters food drive Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Nov. 15.
The fundraiser Friday will include an auction of specially revamped and redecorated chairs — Thomas said one artist actually took apart chairs, donated by Northern Montana Healthcare and rebuilt them into footstools and picture frames — that will be auctioned off by Darren Overlie.
Local artists, students and the general public have donated their work on redecorating the chairs, Thomas said. She added she expects to have about 15 for the auction.
“They keep coming in, ” Thomas said.
“And, they’re remarkable, ” she said.
The auction will probably start about 5 p. m., she said. The event will include an open bar catered by 15 West, snacks and other refreshments, and door prizes including a Marc Mariani-autographed Tennessee Titans flag.
“We’re just going to have a little fun and, hopefully, make a little money for the Food Bank, ” Thomas said.