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Thousands of pounds of potatoes, meat and canned goods donated in Bozeman

People drove through the Gallatin Valley Mall's parking lot for food pickup
Posted at 11:36 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 13:36:57-04

It started off as an idea among a small group of friends, and turned into an effort larger than the group had imagined.

“This has quickly gone from friends helping friends to community helping community,” said Troy Dorrell.

The Dorrells started by giving out thousands of pounds of donated potatoes for anybody who wanted them in the community.

“As we were giving away those potatoes that 25,000 pounds, I got a phone call from a friend he goes, 'Troy, people need more than potatoes to eat. We need to give them some meat,'” said Dorrell.

“We need to give them some protein.”

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This weekend, the group of Friends Helping Friends set up outside the Gallatin Valley Mall with 10,000 pounds of hamburger meat, 50,000 pounds of potatoes and around 10,000 pounds of canned goods.

Friends helping friends started off with 4 people, and turned into something so much bigger. By the end of the weekend there were over 150 volunteers that participated and donations coming from across the community.

“We were really overwhelmed by the outpouring from the community. We got a huge donation from the American Simmental Association, Journey Church, First Montana Bank and Shepherd's Heart Ministry,” said Lorena Dorrell.

“They gave thousands of dollars.”

The group saw a constant flow of traffic coming through all weekend, with people picking up food and expressing their gratitude.

“Tomorrow this will all be forgotten. But today, we’ve made a difference. And all of the volunteers here, today they’ve made a difference. And I think it’s just awesome to be able to do that,” said Troy Dorrell.

“It’s been a real blessing to us. To be able to experience being here and being a part of this,” said Lorena Dorrell.

The donated potatoes all came from farmers in Manhattan, and the meat was purchased from Ranchland packing company in Butte.