We're in the middle of November, and we've already experienced some brutally cold temperatures here in Montana.

If this is any indication of what is to come, we could be in for a rough winter. A long and cold winter means higher heating costs, and for some Montanans, that's simply not an option. Over the last several months, we've witnessed record prices for fuel and groceries, with many Montanans struggling to make ends meet.

I had the chance to talk with friends at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank recently, and they told me they've seen a big increase in the number of folks that are coming to the Food Bank for a little extra help. So just how many more people are we talking about?

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500 families per month.

Yep, 500 additional families per month are requesting food. It seems hard to fathom, especially when you see all the businesses around town that are hiring and offering 20-plus dollars an hour, however, let's remember just how expensive living here in Bozeman is.

The average rent is 2,000 dollars a month, gas is almost 4 dollars a gallon, and some grocery items have doubled in cost. The truth is, you could be making what is considered a decent wage and still come up short when it comes to buying food.

Concept image to illustrate harsh economic times

Here's the good news; you can help. Right now the biggest food drive in the state is going on with Can The Griz. Can The Griz is active until the end of the first quarter of the Brawl of the Wild game this Saturday. If you would like to make a donation, you can head over to the Can The Griz website and see all the drop-off locations, or you can make a monetary donation on the website.

Gallatin Valley Food Bank
Gallatin Valley Food Bank

You can also drop off donations this Friday at Townsquare Media at 125 W Mendenhall in Bozeman as we "Stuff Our Studios" starting at 7 am. We'll have staff available to pick up your donations throughout the morning.

With the holidays around the corner, many Montanans will be struggling when it comes to making ends meet, so let's make sure that no Montanan goes hungry this holiday season.

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