Bozeman Chronicle Editorial: Cafe fighting hunger one free meal at a time



Editorial: Cafe fighting hunger one free meal at a time

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012 12:00 am
Click here for original editorial
Prospects for the underfed got a whole lot better last week when the Community Café officially opened its doors.
This new venture on North Seventh in Bozeman invites anyone and everyone to have a meal free of charge. It’s the result of a joint effort of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank and the Human Resource Development Council with a lot of help from church and community organization volunteers who staff the new eatery and feed their patrons with food donated by local grocery stores and restaurants.
The project was born of a need to fill the gap left by the closure of His Soup mobile kitchen that provided food for the homeless. But there are far more than just the homeless who need help with food. The Food Bank says that it serves some 3,500 people monthly with emergency food aid. And that aid isn’t enough for single-parent households. The strain of maintaining a job and seeing to other household needs often means that preparing food is an extreme hardship.
That’s where the Community Café comes in. This new option will hopefully provide a permanent solution for those who struggle to get enough food.
The café has been quietly serving 40 to 70 people a day since last month, serving just one daily entrée option. Now that it has officially opened, those numbers are likely to increase sharply. And the café staff says they hope to provide more daily options in the future.
For far too long, Bozeman has turned its back on the less fortunate. Not that long ago, the solution to the problem of those in need was to put them on a bus to Butte. But things have taken a turn for the better with the opening of a temporary shelter during the last two winters – a shelter that has been used by scores of people.
The opening of the Community Café represents another positive development – a dependable place for those in need to find some food.
All those involved are to be commended for this effort, and best wishes for long-term success go their way.
re posted with permission

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Brooke Poole

Public Sector

Since 2015, Brooke has been working with Allergan Aesthetics, Body Contouring. In 2018, Brooke began her role as Senior Manager of Training. Brooke graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Commercial Photography from Appalachian State University in 2011.

Brooke began her role on our Board in 2019. However, she feels it’s more fitting to say that she gets to serve on our Board. For Brooke, an evening at our Fork & Spoon was her first glance into our organization’s powerful work. As Brooke states, joining the Board has only expanded her appreciation for the caliber of people leading our mission and the impact of our vast ecosystem of services. While metrics alone are impressive, Brooke likes to visualize each number as an individual example of support – an extension of a helping hand, a moment of relief – given to one of our neighbors. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in shaping HRDC’s future.

Although Brooke spends most of her volunteer time with HRDC, she was fortunate enough to build with Habitat for Humanity over the course of the summer in 2020. Her favorite place to spend time is anywhere under the Big Sky, although Hyalite may be her favorite place on Earth.

Ron Brey

Public Sector

Ron served as Bozeman’s Assistant City Manager from 1990 to 2008. After retiring, Ron joined our Board in 2011. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1977, and his Masters in Science in Rural, Town, and Regional Planning from the University of Montana in 1987.

During his time with the City of Bozeman, Ron saw the important role that HRDC has played in our community. Ron has seen that HRDC provides necessary social services to assure that all Bozeman residents could obtain housing, food, training, employment and the other necessities of life. He also came to understand that HRDC was always able to respond immediately as new community needs arose. Ron believes that the dedication, hard work, and compassion of HRDC’s staff make it a real honor to serve on the Board.

Ron also serves on the Trails, Open Space and Parks Committee for the City of Bozeman, and as a volunteer with the Red Cross. One of Ron’s favorite activities is walking his beloved dog every day, enjoying many of Bozeman’s trails and parks, like Burke Park, Bozeman Creek, and the Hyalite and Mount Ellis areas. Ron and his wife Claire enjoy spending their days with family, friends, and time outdoors.