Myth vs. Reality

 

Myth: You have to be unemployed to be eligible for food bank services.
Reality: Gallatin Valley residents in need of food are eligible for food bank services; an average of 50-60% of households requesting assistance from the food bank have at least one household member employed.

 

Myth: You have to be eligible for food stamps (SNAP benefits) in order to be eligible for food bank services.
Reality: Gallatin Valley residents in need of food are eligible for food bank services. We encourage all of our customers to look for additional means and community resources including applying for SNAP, energy and housing assistance to help move them towards self-sufficiency.

 

Myth: The Food Bank has income restrictions.
Reality
: The Food Bank operates two programs that have federal income guidelines we follow to qualify area residents and eligible areas for food distribution: the Senior Grocery Program and the Kids’ Summer Lunch Program. The Emergency Food Box Program has no income restrictions; however completed paperwork regarding household income, members, and place of residence is required.

 

Myth: You have to be homeless to qualify for food bank services.
Reality
: No, in fact less than 1% of persons requesting assistance from the food bank are homeless/transient. The vast majority of our customers are employed, recently unemployed, or underemployed.

 

Myth: You can only get food from the Food Bank once every 30 days.
Reality: The 30 day rule is in existence as a guideline, all requests for food assistance are evaluated on a case by case basis and exceptions can be made based on the household’s needs. We work with our customers to encourage and identify other resources that may help further the family’s budget. Food items available in the bread/produce room can be accessed as often as needed.

 

Myth: Seniors participating in the senior grocery program are not eligible for a food box.
Reality: Seniors participating in the Senior Grocery Program are also eligible for a food box.

 

Myth: The Food Bank only provides canned goods/commodities.
Reality
: The Food Bank provides perishable and non-perishable foods including: dairy products, vegetables, fruits, baked goods, canned goods, dried goods, frozen meats. Through our Food Rescue Program, non-perishable items are picked up from our local stores and businesses Monday-Saturday.

 

Myth: People abuse services such as the food bank.
Reality
: People “use” our services because they need it. Roughly 1 in 8 Gallatin County residents used food bank services over the course of the last year and asking for help is not easy. On average we see 140 new families every month–those who have never requested similar assistance from us in the past. Roughly 70% of households requesting assistance from the Food Bank utilized the emergency food services less than 3 times within a one year period.

 

Myth: The Food Bank only helps the chronically poor.
Reality
: Food Bank clients consist of two parent households, single parent households, seniors living alone, disabled persons, extended family households, MSU students and many others. Therefore, our clients attend your schools, work with you, they are somebody’s grandparents and your neighbors.

 

Myth: The Food Bank is only open between 1 – 4pm Monday – Friday.
Reality: The Gallatin Valley Food Bank’s offices are open 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday for business and donations. Client services are offered between 1 – 4 pm Monday – Friday and on Tuesdays from 5 – 7pm. We have satelite services in Three Forks (Mondays 1pm-4pm, and Thur 3pm-7pm), Belgrade at Living Waters United Methodist Church (Saturdays from 11am-1pm), and in Big Sky (Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm and Friday’s from 11am-3pm)

 

Myth: The Gallatin Valley Food Bank is part of the Montana Food Bank Network.
Reality: The Gallatin Valley Food Bank is an umbrella program of the local HRDC. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank and the Montana Food Bank Network are NOT the same, they are both independent non-profit organizations.

 

Myth: The Gallatin Valley Food Bank receives funding/foods from the government.
Reality
: Roughly 98% of our food and funds come from non-federal sources.

 

Myth: The Food Bank provides foods to anyone who requests it and they can request as often as they like.
Reality: The Food Bank provides a five to seven day supply of food to households requesting assistance once in a thirty day period.