Two Missoula organizations are teaming up to bring bikes to students on the Blackfeet Reservation.
Missoula Bicycle Works and Essential Eats Distributors started the project last year, and delivered about 60 bikes to kids in the Heart Butte area in 2018. This year, Essential Eats says they will deliver 35 all-terrain bikes to Heart Butte School and Buffalo Hide Academy.
Missoula Bicycle Works owner Alex Gallego says many students in the Heart Butte area don't live near their schools. EED director Sara Wecker approached him about helping them get to class more easily. Gallego loved the idea, and the organizations worked with Schwinn Bicycle Company to provide the bikes.
"There's a lot of limitations in terms of getting to school just because of the distances," Gallego said. "If they can ride their bikes to schools, they're going to get there a lot quicker and, you know, with a lot less energy."
Essential Eats says the bikes will also be used for PE class and school bike clubs. They say students that take part in a bike program at Heart Butte School will get a bike and a helmet when they finish it.
Gallego says the Essential Eats team will pick up the bikes for delivery this weekend. More information about Essential Eats and a fundraiser to help support the nonprofit's work is available here.