The food pantries in Teton County are experiencing an increased use because of the changes put into place to control the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness.

The Teton County Food Pantry in Choteau is in need of financial donations rather than food donations.

The Choteau/Teton Public Library is now locked, so please do not leave food on the back doorstep, said Food Pantry volunteer Linda Sentz.

The Food Pantry in Choteau has a procedure in place to distribute food, and it includes social isolation of clients from the pantry and volunteers.

“We have food available, and food donations right now require volunteers to clean, weigh in, sort, check expiration dates,” the pantry’s Facebook page said. “Our time now is more needed for giving food to families.”

They have been busy. As of March 20, they had provided food for 24 seniors and 29 families in emergency disbursements.

Anyone wanting to help by giving a donation can send a check to Teton County Food Pantry, P.O. Box 534, Choteau MT 59422.

The Fairfield Food Pantry has received many generous donations from community members since they moved the food bank from the school to a space in the Fairfield Community Hall a year ago. “The donations have especially been generous within the last couple weeks while things have been up in the air for families as far as resources go,” said Chelsea Schilling, co-manager of the food bank.

“We are currently serving 25 to 30 people and because of the virus precautions, we are limiting our volunteers,” Schilling said. “We are trying to limit contact between volunteers and clients and therefore, we will schedule drop off/pick up of food disbursements depending on the needs of each client.”

The best way to contact the food pantry is by phone, as they don’t have scheduled hours.

The current needs at the Fairfield pantry are cereal, soups, butter, snacks and kid-friendly meals. “We are very thankful for the continual financial donations and the widespread generous response to our request for snacks for children,” she added. “As one community member said after donating a truck full of snacks, ‘our village takes care of each other.’”

To contact the pantry, call Schilling at 781-1285 or co-manager Megan Caffyn at 590-3150.