Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry. Providing food, hygiene, school supplies, and clothing for Students, Staff, and Faculty in need. Locations: University Campus, Student Union Building 219  City College, Jacket Student Central B11. Learn More at msubillings.edu/pantry

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About

The Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry currently offers free food, hygiene, school supplies, and limited clothing items to all students, staff, and faculty members at Montana State University Billings. We also work as advocates to connect students to additional student support services.

Typically, clients can use the pantry up to three times per semester. However, if patrons require additional support, we can make arrangements on a case by case basis. Our goal is to connect students and staff with university services and resources. By doing so, we aim to highlight and address food insecurity within Montana State University Billings.

The Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry works with trusted non-profit community partners to help support food hunger initiatives within the wider Billings community. Food insecurity-based community partners include: Family Service, Salvation Army, Tumbleweed, Crisis Community Center and St. Vincent de Paul. In 2018/19, the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry received generous donations of approximately 2100 lbs of food, hygiene, and school supplies from the Billings community.

Who

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·Any studentcurrently enrolled and any staff or faculty member currently working at Montana State University Billings can use the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry.

·You can use the pantry up to three (3) times per semester.

·If there is further need, we will work with you on a case-by-case basis.

What

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·Provide food, hygiene, school supplies, and limited clothing items to individuals in a discrete and safe environment.

·Connect individuals to university and/or direct referrals to community resources and services.

YEP’s purpose is to help students with their immediate needs while also providing direct referrals to long term solutions.

Where

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Location

We have two locations, each based in easy-to-access locations on University and City College Campuses:

University Campus:

Center for Engagement, Room 219, Student Union building, 1500 University Drive

City College Campus:

Jacket Student Central, Tech Building, 3803 Central Avenue

When

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Hours of Operation

University Campus
Monday-Thursday: 8 AM to 9 pm
Friday: 8 AM to 7 PM
Saturday: 11 AM to 7 PM
Sunday: 11 AM to 9 PM

City College Campus
Monday-Friday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Schedule an Appointment

We highly encourage walk-in appointments, or you may call (406) 657-2387 to schedule an appointment.

Why

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Food insecurity is an issue not only at MSU Billings,  but also at universities and colleges nationally. Across the United States, colleges have been examining food insecurity as a barrier to student success, with over 300 colleges and universities joining the College and University Food Bank Alliance. While there are community resources available, it may be difficult for student to access them due to transportation, scheduling, and eligibility guidelines. 

How

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·Donations, generous giving, sharing information, and volunteer support sustains the YEP! Contact Civic Engagement Coordinator, Holly Jones, for information on how to get involved. Learn more about our generous community partners who have donated to YEP in past years.

 

What to Expect at Your Pantry Visit

On arrival clients will be greeted, invited to complete a brief application form, and asked to present their student or staff ID. This information is used to inform clients of available college and community-based resources; all collected data is strictly confidential and adheres to the Montana State University Billings data protection policy. We'll go over what resources and needs you are seeking. Then, we will give you a reusable shopping bag, invite you to select your items from the pantry, count and weigh the items for inventory purposes, go over any last questions or concerns, and conclude your visit.

Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry Application

After you apply onlineto use the YEP! ,you may schedule an appointmentto come visit the pantry at a time that is convenient for you.Contact Civic Engagement Coordinator, Holly Jones, at (406) 896-5817 with any questions.

Support the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry

Donate

The Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry accepts non-perishable food items throughout the year. Donations can be dropped off at either University Campus or City College sites.

Donation bins availableat University campus SUB Stingers, Library, College of Education, College of Business, McMullen Hall 1st floor, as well as at City College campus Tech Commons.

Based on user feedback, we have prepared a wish-list of most wanted food items.

As a general rule, donate shelf-stable, nutrient-dense foods

Volunteer

Why not donate your time to the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry? We have opportunities to work on both sites and also with our trusted non-profit community partners. Previous project partners have included, Student United Way, Halloween Food Drive, Cans Around McMullen and Run! Turkey, Run!

Give

We also accept monetary donations in the form of a check made payable to 'Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry'. These can be sent to: Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry, Center for Engagement, Montana State University Billings, 1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101. Please include a return address so we can provide a charitable tax reference and thank you note.

The Run Turkey Run event is currently the single largest benefactor to the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry. Students, staff, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to participate and support the annual community event in any way possible. Run Turkey Run logo

Interested in becoming a patron? Please contact Holly Jones, Civic Engagement Coordinator on (406) 896-5817 or holly.jones5@msubillings.edu for more information.

Share

Individuals fighting food insecurity, often just require the knowledge that services exist. The most effective way to support students is to inform them of the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry. Feel free to print and share these Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry flyers:

 

YEP flyer
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YellowJacket Emergency Pantry Flier 2
Food distribution agencies flyer preview

Community-based Resources

There a number of community-based resources which provide food and financial relief based on assessed need:

This list of available financial resources is provided to assist students and their families. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by MSU Billings.

Food Provision

Download a listing of Free and Reduced Food Distribution Agencies Billings, Montana Resources 2021-2022.

Search for more food provision in Montana via the Montana Food Bank Network.

Find help such as food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing, Rent, and Utility Community Resources, 2021-2022

Preview of Housing, Rent & Utilities Community Resources flyer

HRDC Community Action Agency

HRDC serves vulnerable populations in the community. The mission of the HRDC is to restore HOPE, by extending RESPECT, encouraging individuals to DREAM of a better future, and ultimately CHANGE the economic landscape of our communities.

For more information visit the HRDC About page.

Montana 2-1-1

Montana 2-1-1 is a free, anonymous service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Montana 2-1-1 can be accessed by phone or computer. Montana 2-1-1 provides information and connects people to resources for non-emergency needs, via an easy-to-remember phone number (2-1-1) and a website (montana211.org). 

You’ll find information about: supplemental food and nutrition programs, shelter and housing options, utilities assistance, emergency information and disaster relief, and more.

Montana Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Office of Public Assistance

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program. SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This card can be used as a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a program providing temporary financial assistance to needy families as cash assistance.

Health Coverage Assistance through Medicaid, Healthy Montana Kids, health insurance assistance and tax credits through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Montana's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) offers healthy food, breastfeeding support, nutrition tips, and connection to community resources. 

Other Opportunities

Back to School 2021

Are you a non-traditional student with children of your own, who are also headed back to school this fall? Then this post is for you! Several organizations in the Billings community are hosting Back to School programs for young children coming up soon. ✏️
·The Salvation Army is accepting parents' application for the 2021 Dress A Child program. This program is a clothing shopping spree for children in Kindergarten to 6th grade, with the distribution in October or November 2021. Complete the application and email to Bethany Allen or apply in person at the Salvation Army Community Center located at 2100 6th Avenue North.
·Finally, Family Services Inc. is providing children with backpacks filled with classroom necessities. Apply in person at 3927 1st Ave S. Billings, MT 59101.
·After your children are all set, do you need school supplies to attend MSUB or City College as well? School supplies are available at the Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry and in TRIO/SSS offices on both campuses so you will be ready to start the Fall 2021 semester.

Thanksgiving Boxes

Thanksgiving Meal Boxes. Request online by November 12.
Community outreach program aimed at providing MSUB students and families Thanksgiving food packages over the holiday period. Request online by November 12, 2021 to participate in the Thanksgiving Meal Boxes! Pickup at MSUB University campus on Tuesday, November 23 at multiple times per sign-up confirmation.