Mike Halligan, the foundation’s executive director says with the holiday here, they are trying to reach as many people as they can.
We're told 33-percent of Montana's population needs food assistance and that number includes 90,000 children who live at or below the poverty level.
“We try and make sure that in the holiday donation that we're trying to reach as many people as possible at this time of year because there are a lot of struggling families out there,” says Halligan.
Halligan tells NBC Montana the passion for helping people in need comes directly from Dennis and Phyllis Washington.
“The whole focus of the foundation is giving people the tools they need to succeed,” he says. “Whether its scholarships, after school programs or in this case basic need organizations that desperately need help all year especially during the holiday season, the Washington Foundation just wants to help where we can.”
According to the statewide report on poverty, in 2012 over 1.2 million residents received assistance from the Montana Food Bank Network.