As you can imagine, demand has been at an all time high for services at the Missoula Food Bank since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket.

So it's frustrating and difficult for their staff to have to reduce hours right now due to a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, according to executive director, Aaron Brock. “Our front-line team has taken every precaution, but we have known that this was a possibility since we started seeing community spread in Missoula County.  The food bank has a plan that will allow our essential services to continue to operate while those who have been working in the Store quarantine.”

The staff member was last at the Food Bank on Tuesday, 9/29/2020.

The Food Bank and Community Center has maintained two separate teams of employees since the beginning of the pandemic.

These two teams have worked completely separate of each other, so every member of the team that has been operating the food bank will be tested and quarantined, per Missoula County Health Department recommendations.

A smaller team of four staff members will step in to take over reduced services during the quarantine period, so that the Food Bank can stay open.

Operations at the food bank will continue with safety precautions in place. Temporary reduced hours are as follows:

Mon & Tues, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Weds & Thurs, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Food Bank will be closed on Friday, October 9th, and these temporary hours will be in efffect from today, October 5th to Tuesday, October 13th.

During the pandemic, safety measures have been in place, including a plexi-glass barrier between customers and staff at the welcome desk, a streamlined, pre-loaded cart system to quickly serve customers and limit interaction, plus, masking, physical distancing, and sanitizing procedures.

Prepared meals for kids will continue to be distributed during operating hours and parents and guardians can request meals from the welcome desk through the main entrance. Meals will not be distributed from the EmPower Place entrance at this time and the Kids Eat Free Bus will not operate for the days of reduced hours.