The Bitterroot Star recently presented a $1500 check to members of the Three Mile Community Senior Center for the Kids’ Backpack Program. The group purchases and prepares 50 bags of food for children at Lone Rock School to take home on Friday to eat over the weekend.
Every week, bags are filled with eight individual servings of the following: 2 breakfast items, 2 lunch items, 2 snacks, 1 drink and 1 fruit. On holidays and long weekends, extra meals and treats are included. The bags are dropped off at the school to be distributed by the school counselor.
The food is purchased through donations and grants from Town Pump Foundation, Three Mile Fire Department, and members of the local community. Anyone wishing to donate food can drop it off at the Three Mile Fire Hall (non-perishable individual servings only). Monetary donations can be sent to Three Mile Community Senior Center, 4433 Sunnyside Cemetery Road, Stevensville MT 59870.
During the holidays, the group also provides Christmas gifts for 6-8 families in need.
The Three Mile Community Seniors currently store, sort and pack the bags at the fire hall, where they also meet for coffee hours and bingo, but that is set to change. According to Colleen Schmiedeke, they have raised more than $110,000 (including $80,000 in grants) and will soon break ground for a new community center to be located at Lone Rock Park. The center project is in partnership with the Lone Rock Park District and the Three Mile Fire Department. The building will be available for a variety of community uses.
“We’re very excited,” said Schmiedeke. “There’s a real need for more space.” For more information contact the Center at 360-3385 or Schmiedeke at 777-3710.
The $1500 from the Bitterroot Star was from the proceeds of this year’s Western Heritage Days. Another $4000 was presented to Stevensville School.