KALISPELL - Gov. Greg Gianforte stopped in Kalispell on Thursday to contribute a quarter of his annual salary to the Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry.
With a goal of serving those who have served, the food pantry helps low-income and at-risk veterans with everything from loan programs to housing services.
The $19,000 donation - part of the governor's 12 Days of Giving - will be used this holiday season and into next year. Gianforte said his campaign is meant to highlight nonprofits and encourage Montanans to get involved.
Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry founder Allen W. Erickson said he is often overwhelmed by the generosity he sees.
"Yeah, I’m pounding here (hitting his chest). It's a privilege. And I'm overwhelmed. So that's okay, at my age I can beat overwhelmed,” Erickson said. “We've been here for 23 years. I've been doing stand-downs for 24 years and helping vets and helping vets. And that's what I like to do, is help vets."
People can donate to the Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry at https://veteransfoodpantry.org/.