Local volunteers distributes food boxes to hundreds

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Scott Sullivan and Ashley Gromley  load up the Troy food box trailer on Thursday, September 3. Photo by McKenzie Williams, The Montanian.


The program supplied food boxes of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat products and a combination boxes. The distributors will then package the products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to many hardworking volunteers community members and organization around the U.S. who serve Americans in need.

Libby’s Farmers through Families boxes  were from Grasmic Produce a little over 500 miles away in Boise, Idaho. There it is packaged and  brought to Libby in a semi. Fork-lift operator Thomas Brown who has been volunteering since day-one assist the truck driver with unloading the large semi.

At first the food box giveaway was in shambles without much direction volunteers raced to find a working system. Now, the Yaak, Troy Area, Libby, and West kootenai all reap the benefits of the food boxes thanks to the team of volunteers.

Meeting at Assembly of God church the volunteers from Troy Scott Sullivan, Ashley Gromley, and Mariah Gromley load a pick-up with trailer for Troy families. Luanne in charge of  the West Kootenai loads up and heads out. Yaak Food Bank members drive down and haul off food boxes for the small community of the Yaak.

While most Libby residents could drive and pick-up their food, as well as get at home deliveries.

Owner of Good News Christian Books & Music/For HIS Glory Photography in downtown Libby, and volunteer Roxanna Escudero said, “ I grew up in Libby, there is a lot of people here that could use the food.” So she got involved, much like many other members of  the community. Like 82 year old woman who picks up about 10 boxes for her neighborhood. She specifically hands out food to single moms.

Over the weeks have been good. According to Roxanne, “We had to get a handle on people not taking more than they need.”

Previously, people were taking advantage of the amazing program using the produce for feed for animals, mainly chickens.

Unfortunately the last planned box delivery was scheduled for Tuesday September, 15. For more information on the Farmers to Families program visit usda.gov, stay tuned on Facebook, or KLCB.


By McKenzie Williams, The Montanian


2020 Kootenai Country
Montana Chainsaw Carving Champion

By Stacy Bender


There was not a dry eye within earshot of the stage on Sunday afternoon, September 13, as Abby Peterson of Kentucky received the champion title at the 2020 Kootenai Country Montana Chainsaw Competition. Peterson visibly trembled as his voice crackled in an attempt to tell those gathered how much the honor meant for himself and his family.

“I had reached an extremely low point in my life,” he told the crowd, “At one point, I sat down as the sun set and asked God for help. ‘If you can just meet me in the middle, I can do the rest of the work’ I told him.” That next morning, Peterson woke up, took a chainsaw to a stump in his yard and carved his first small bear.

“Since then, I have met and come to know so many incredible artists,” Peterson went on, “I repeatedly found myself thinking, ‘I wanna be like that guy,’ as I watched them work. And now so many have become my close friends and mentors. This is just incredible.”

Peterson, who had received the invitation to compete at the Libby event just five weeks prior to his 1st place award, was joined by his wife, Nikki, and two sons Caine and Court.  Older siblings Chance and Chloe were unable to attend due to sport and college commitments, but were strongly present in spirit.

Combining his title of purse of $5,000 with the $3,900 the winning piece brought at auction, Peterson walked away with well over $10,000 including monies brought in during several quick-carve auctions held throughout the 4-day event.

For more on this weekend’s carving winners and to see more photos from the event, please visit our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/The.Montanian.

Abby Peterson, Wife Nikki, and two sons Caine and Court. Pose for a photo. Photo by Stacy Bender, The Montanian.