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community soup night

Community Soup Night

Five years ago Claudia Evans and Pattiann Bennett decided there were individuals in Eureka who could use a hot meal at least one night a week. They began the Community Soup Night which is open to everyone from kids to oldsters. The dinner is served from 4:00 - 7:00pm every Tuesday. Each week a group or organization or church or business signs up to prepare the food, serve it and clean up.

That first dinner that Claudia and Pattiann organized had about thirty-five people attend. Now there are over a hundred. This past week a local nonprofit volunteered and served two delicious soups (beef chili and a chicken with dumplings), salad, cornbread and home baked desserts. Next week one of the banks is hosting the dinner with grilled chicken and fixings. One thing people who attend the Tuesday night dinners have learned - the food is always good and there is always plenty. And you can eat there for free or make a donation. Young people come by after school to get one of these great meals. There are families with babies and toddlers sitting together around the large tables. Older people come and meet up with friends to share the meal. Sometimes local musicians entertain while people are eating. You always see someone you know there so you don't have to worry about eating alone. And there are juices for the young ones and hot coffee and teas for the adults.

It seems amazing that in this little town there are enough people who care about their neighbors to provide a community dinner once a week. Two hundred and fifty weeks over the last five years! And who organizes all this? There is a Community Soup Committee made up of some incredible people including Claudia and Ed and Deb who put out the monthly calendar (which group will be cooking when) and who also help with keeping things moving smoothly on Tuesday nights. And you know what? They are looking for a few more people who would like to help out. Stop by next Tuesday or give a call to the Tobacco Valley Senior Center. 406-297-2188

Rita Collins

About the Author: Rita Collins. I am a believer in the power of community and for now I call the Tobacco Valley home. I have lived in nine states and three counties and this community here amazes me - how people reach out to neighbors and even travelers. I've never lived in a place that demonstrates people caring for each other so well. And I've never lived in a place that has such a high percentage of talented musicians and artists. I work with the the Sunburst Community Service Foundation, a nonprofit that began in Eureka twenty years ago and now serves numerous communities in western Montana. And I just started a new business, St. Rita's Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary. I never could have imagined life being this exciting in my sixth decade.

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VisitNWMontana.com is all about inspiring, promoting and helping to build and sustain NW Montana through stories, blogs, photos and fun – one person, one business and one experience at a time.

Northwestern Montana is a charming area of quaint towns, millions of acres of state and federal land, hiking, camping, waterfalls, rock climbing, fishing and hunting, skiing and snowmobiling. We offer an impressive collection of shops, art galleries, golf courses, bed and breakfasts, spas, and restaurants not to mention annual events such as the Bull Thing, the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Fun Run, and the Eureka Montana Quilt Show. Enjoy the outdoors and the small town spirit that makes you feel right at home. Stay for a short trip, or meet with a realtor to find out about owning your own little piece of Montana real estate.

Where are we and how do you get here? Fly into Glacier National Park Airport (FCA) or Spokane International Airport (GEG). Eureka is 7 miles from the Canadian (Roosville) Border and 67 miles east of Libby or 51 miles north of Whitefish.

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