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Montana State student cooks up Christmas cheer for those in need

So far, the Ivesters have 227 meals to cook, but they’re goal is 300 meals.
Posted at 8:52 AM, Dec 23, 2023

BOZEMAN — 'Tis the season for giving and sharing. In fact, one Montana State University student believes sharing food is the best way to spread holiday cheer because not everyone is able to enjoy a meal cooked with love.

“It’s become such a fun tradition being able to spread that Christmas joy,” said Ashlin Ivester.

 Ivester is a freshman at MSU with a big heart for the holidays.

“It’s a really big deal for my family to have a super yummy Christmas dinner,” said Ivester. “Being able to connect over a meal is something I always look forward to.”

That’s why she started Holiday Helper—to make sure folks in Gallatin County have a Christmas filled with good food.

“Holiday Helper is a program I started during my junior year of high school,” said Ivester. “Giving community members and people in need a holiday meal for Christmas.”

Ivester’s friends and family are in the kitchen cooking away.

“We cook for 3 nights,” said Ivester.

Then, on the 24th, they pack everything up to be delivered.

So far the Ivester’s have 227 meals to cook, but their goal is 300 meals.

“So, they’re still rolling in,” said Ivester. “We want them to be in by the 23rd.”

Ivester says without the support of the community, Holiday Helper wouldn’t be the success it is today. When she created her GoFundMe account, her goal was to hit $1,500 in donations to cover the cost of groceries. As of right now, they’ve reached $1,900.

With these generous donations, Ivester and her team are able to brighten Christmas time for many folks in Gallatin County.

“We make food that we would eat; it’s my Grandma’s dressing,” said Ivester. “It’s all really good food and we always hear that it made their Christmas better, it brought their family together, and we’ve had a few people cry and give us hugs.”

To donate or receive a meal from Holiday Helper you can visit: