Myth vs. Reality

Myth: You have to be unemployed to be eligible for food bank services.
Reality: Gallatin Valley residents in need of food are eligible for food bank services; an average of 95% of households requesting assistance from the Big Sky Community Food Bank have at least one household member employed.

Myth: You have to be eligible for food stamps (SNAP benefits) in order to be eligible for food bank services.
Reality: Gallatin Valley residents in need of food are eligible for food bank services. We encourage all of our customers to look for additional means and community resources including applying for SNAP, energy and housing assistance to help move them towards self-sufficiency.

Myth: The Food Bank has income restrictions.
Reality
: The Big Sky Community Food Bank operates two programs that have federal income guidelines we follow to qualify area residents and eligible areas for food distribution: the Senior Grocery Program and the Kids’ Summer Lunch Program. The Emergency Food Box Program has no income restrictions; however completed paperwork regarding household income, members, and place of residence is required.

Myth: You have to be homeless to qualify for food bank services.
Reality
: No, in fact less than 1% of persons requesting assistance from the Big Sky Community Food Bank are homeless/transient. The vast majority of our customers are employed, recently unemployed, or underemployed.

Myth: You can only get food from the Food Bank once every 30 days.
Reality: The 30 day rule is in existence as a guideline, all requests for food assistance are evaluated on a case by case basis and exceptions can be made based on the household’s needs. We work with our customers to encourage and identify other resources that may help further the family’s budget. Food items available in the bread/produce room can be accessed as often as needed.

Myth: Seniors participating in the senior grocery program are not eligible for a food box.
Reality: Seniors participating in the Senior Grocery Program are also eligible for a food box.

Myth: The Food Bank only provides canned goods/commodities.
Reality
: The Big Sky Community Food Bank provides perishable and non-perishable foods including: dairy products, vegetables, fruits, baked goods, canned goods, dried goods, frozen meats. Through our Food Rescue Program, non-perishable items are picked up from our local stores and businesses on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Myth: People abuse services such as the food bank.
Reality
: People “use” our services because they need it. Roughly 1 in 8 Gallatin County residents used food bank services over the course of the last year and asking for help is not easy. On average we see 25 new families every month–those who have never requested similar assistance from us in the past. Roughly 70% of households requesting assistance from the Food Bank utilized the emergency food services less than 3 times within a one year period.

Myth: The Food Bank only helps the chronically poor.
Reality
: Big Sky Community Food Bank clients are hard-working people experiencing a momentary set-back. Clients consist of two parent households, single parent households, seniors living alone, disabled persons, extended family households, MSU students and many others. Therefore, our clients attend your schools, work with you, they are somebody’s grandparents and your neighbors.

Myth: The Food Bank is only open between 1 – 4pm Monday – Friday.
Reality: The Big Sky Community Food Bank client services are offered Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm and Friday’s from 11am-3pm.