MISSOULA - The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has announced a $350,000 gift to aid “basic needs” organizations across the state, from homeless shelters to food pantries.
The funding will help support 100 organizations including five in Missoula — the Poverello Center, River Life Ministries, the Salvation Army, the Montana Food Bank Network, and the Union Gospel Mission.
“Virtually all basic needs organizations continue to struggle to meet the growing demand for their services, and these additional funds will hopefully help address shortages of food, shelter, clothing and other basic needs,” said Mike Halligan, the foundation's executive director.
While the latest gift comes during the holiday season, the Washington Foundation's Holiday Giving Program comes in addition to its other grants, which are awarded annually.
The holiday funding is intended to provide the organizations with the resources they need to ensure that individuals and families have nutritious food during the holiday season.
“Our goal with this donation is to get badly needed resources into the hands of the staff and volunteers of these critically important organizations, especially now with the winter months approaching,” said Halligan.
In Montana, one in 10 people struggle with hunger and one in six children live in a home that faces food scarcity, according to the Washington Foundation.