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Missoula group donates 195 bikes to Crow Nation

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:11:11-04

MTN News has continued to follow the journey of Essential Eats Distributors and its mission to bring much needed items to remote tribal lands.

Now, there are 195 bikes on their way to the Crow Nation and Friday MTN News met up with Essential Eats and the Sunshine Rotary Club for their bike build.

Essential Eats, with help from the Sunrise Rotary Club and Martell Construction, have been putting together 195 bikes, set to make their way to Crow Nation on Saturday.

Essential Eats Distributors is sending another round of supplies to remote tribal areas this round, in the form of their bike program.

"These will give the children in these rural areas a real life. With something like these bikes in their backyard that they can take, and have fun with their friends," said Carl Prinzing, a Missoula Sunrise Rotary Club member.

And it's a lot more fun hanging out with your friends when you can actually reach them.

For some kids in rural areas, that means traveling miles.

"It's pretty spread out there, so if you had a bike, you could ride down to the next village with your friends, play some basketball, just maybe take a ride, go fishing, there’s a lot of creeks around there," said Chris Standingrock, Essential Eats Distributors board member.

The logistics of getting a bike, like the cost or just traveling to purchase one can be a lot for some families, especially for large families all living under one roof.

"The grandparents take a lot of kids in, and income is pretty low there. It's kind of hard to get a job, there are only a few places you can get work and stuff. I know it's really tough to get new bikes and stuff, and for people to be able to afford them, especially families with multiple families in the house," said Standingrock.

Essential Eats has acquired the bikes from the Walmart on Mullan, but needed them assembled.

That’s where Sunshine Rotary stepped in, with the help of Martel Construction.

"I want to say Martel Construction is a tremendous asset, because they donated the warehouse space, and that made it really nice for us to have all the bikes right here and tables set up, so we can put them together. Last time, we were doing all individual garages, and that makes it much harder because of the logistics," said Prinzing.

"I really appreciate it. It's cool that people take their time out to do stuff for people on the reservation," said Standingrock.

Essential Eats is continuing their mission of providing bikes food and clothing to these rural tribal lands and are always looking for donations.

You can go to Essential Eats Facebook page for more information or donate at any Stockman's bank.