FROMBERG — In the aftermath of the flooding in Fromberg, community members from near and far can now come to the high school gym for any meal of the day and any supplies they may need.
It’s lunchtime Thursday at Fromberg High School, and the gym is packed even though the school year ended several weeks ago.
"People are so amazing here. I mean, these residents are working together with these surrounding communities to really pick themselves up and put everything back together,” said Tanya Hansen, a volunteer from Laurel.
The gym has morphed into a community center after historic floodwaters overtook half of the town. Hansen helps run the volunteer operation, which serves hot meals to anyone who needs them. She makes the 22-minute trip to Fromberg from her home in Laurel every day.
“We put things out on social media, and it did not take long before I was getting texts and phone calls and we’ve been able to fill up every spot, every need I think we’ve had for volunteers here every single day,” said Hansen.
Recently this team has been feeding more than 150 people per meal.
Volunteer Tina Foust has been here since day one.
The Fromberg resident has put her community before her own needs. She was let go from her job as an activities director at a care center in Billings to be able to be at the relief center for several hours every day.
“I had to make a decision. My community comes first because that is my family,” said Foust.
The food and supplies are all donation-based. Thursday's breakfast and lunch were from the Community Relief Kitchen. The food is for not just Fromberg residents, but anyone in the Clark’s Fork Valley.
Shala Cullum handles most of the deliveries of the food. The volunteers have found that residents will only let in certain people.
“The response to the food delivery has been amazing. I got a phone call this morning on my way here (saying) thank you so much, you’re the only person I would trust in my house to open the door and put it down. I’m so embarrassed with how my house looks, but I know that you don’t care,” Cullum said.
The volunteers hope to transition to just dinner and fewer deliveries next week, but they will gauge the need before making that decision.
Behind all of the hardworking volunteers are Cullum, Foust and Hansen, who never anticipated their paths crossing, but now say they consider themselves family and would do anything for the Fromberg community.