Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Donates
$300,000 for New Food Bank Facility

A lead gift from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has put Missoula Food Bank $300,000 closer to breaking ground on their new facility at 207 North Catlin Street.

The local food bank has been silently raising funds for its $5.5 million relocation project since September, 2015. The needed new building will provide adequate waiting and service space for the food bank and will increase the organization’s ability to expand programming to address causal issues of hunger. In 2015, Missoula Food Bank served 18,414 different people, or 1 in 6 people in Missoula County. Through all food bank programs, the food bank provided a record-breaking 119,113 points of service last year, of which 55% were to children.

Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, said, “We know individuals and families continue to struggle with paying for basic needs and we want to help ensure that this most vulnerable population has access to healthy food choices and resources that will help them stabilize their financial, housing and employment situation.”

Picture4“This generous gift tipped us over the $2 million mark,” says Aaron Brock, food bank executive director. “There is still fundraising to do – we’re not there yet – but as important as the funding, this gift gives us confidence that our project is important to one of the most respected foundations in the Rocky Mountain West. It’s a significant piece of this campaign; we are extremely grateful.”

Sources for the capital campaign include $1.1 million in equity from Missoula Food Bank, a hopeful $1.1 million in New Markets Tax Credit funding, $3.2 million in corporate, grant and individual donations, and $100,000 from the City of Missoula, which has awarded funding for environmental cleanup on the site, a former salvage yard.  That work is happening now.

Of the $3.2 million that must be raised in grants and donations, the food bank has raised $2.1 million.  Nearer to their goal, a public campaign will begin, giving everyone in the community an opportunity to be part of this important piece of Missoula.

To learn more about Missoula Food Bank’s relocation, visit their website.


Missoula Food Bank is a private, non-profit organization that addresses hunger in Missoula County by offering emergency food assistance to all individuals and families who come to us in need. We have been carrying out this model of service since 1983 and take tremendous pride in the diverse network of support that keeps our clients fed, our food service programs effective, and our organization healthy. Last year, 1 in 6 people in Missoula County used our services.  55% of all services benefit local children.

About The Washington Companies

The Washington Companies are a group of individual companies assembled and controlled over a 50- year span by Mr. Dennis R. Washington. Each company displays a unique entrepreneurial spirit that is individually cultured and managed by a professional management team, and guided by a separate Board of Directors.

The Washington Companies focus on core industries in seven primary sectors: rail transportation, marine transportation, mining, heavy equipment sales, aviation technology and environmental remediation. The Montana-based Companies include: Washington Corporations, Modern Machinery, Envirocon, Montana Resources, and Montana Rail Link. The Washington Companies also include: Aviation Partners, Inc. and Aviation Partners Boeing, Inc. as well as Seaspan ULC and Southern Railway of British Columbia.