North Valley Food Bank Director Shares Loaves of Bread - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

North Valley Food Bank Director Shares Loaves of Bread

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WHITEFISH - "Never waste food and make every dollar count." That is the mandate of the North Valley Food Bank in Whitefish.

At 86 years old, the Executive Director and President of the North Valley Food Bank, June Munksi-Feenan, radiated with laughter and enthusiasm.

June and other food bank volunteers were busy preparing for their weekly distribution of food boxes to help feed the city's low income or no income families.

"Seventeen to 20 pounds for a single person," added June Munski-Feenan, the Executive Director of the North Valley Food Bank.

She expected to serve 175 people -- 47 of whom are homebound seniors.

June has been helping to feed starving families in the valley for the past 35 years when a close friend encouraged her to get food, like milk and bread, out to people who needed it.

"I ended up with about 100 loaves of bread under my Christmas tree."

It wasn't long after that Jerry Quinn, who is a current board member at the North Valley Food Bank, started assisting June every lunch period.

"She'd say, 'Could you help me in the garage and move this stuff.' It'd be milk or produce, or something like that," said Jerry. "So, the food bank actually started in her garage."

And, it just ballooned from there. Construction of a new $1.5M, 5,000 square-foot facility is currently underway.

"We'd been saving money, each bit of money we get," mentioned June. "I'll say, 'You guys go out and get the potatoes out of the field. We're going to save this $10 for our building fund.' So, we try to do that. We're survivors, I guess."

And, a survivor June is. Several years ago, a doctor diagnosed her with cancer.

"I had gallstone taken out. I didn't know I had that. The doctor said, 'Oh! There's a little bit of cancer in here, but it's small and slow-moving.' And, I said, 'Oh! Just forget about it.' And, about two year, I've never paid much attention. Nothing's happened," said June.

Still, she has not let the disease slow her down or keep her from helping others.

"One of the bankers here used to always use the term, "She's the Mother Teresa of Whitefish," said Jerry, as he got all choked up. "I don't know I guess I get a little too emotional. Everybody knows that it all comes from her heart, and so the people here don't really mind donating whatever they can, whether it'd be time or whether it'd be cash money."

Jerry added with June's ability to "point a finger", the North Valley Food Bank helped nearly 13,000 people last year alone.

Last weekend, philanthropist Mike Goguen donated $500,000 to the North Valley Food Bank to help complete it's fundraising campaign for the new building and endowment fund.

June says she expects the food bank will move into the new building located on Flathead Avenue near The Wave in late fall.

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