HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – This past weekend’s Havre Lions Club’s Drive-Thru food event saw hundreds of cars line up at the Great Northern Fair Grounds to get their pronto pup and cheese fry fix.
Havre Lions Club President Becky Toth says they went through over 5,000 Rocky Mountain Pronto Pups, 30 cases of fries and 12 cases of cheese over the two day event.
“We had people waiting an hour, an hour and a half in line. They didn’t care, they were polite about having to wait. We could only do so much, cook so much out of our small little booth, so it was perfect. In general, we were all very surprised and shocked, overwhelmed by the turnout.”
The profits from the event have not been calculated yet, but Toth said the amount of food sold is equivalent to about three days of sales from the Great Northern Fair.
Toth says demand was so great that they had to restock their food supply.
“We ran out of food, actually. Thank goodness for IGA here in town. One of our members actually ran to Sam’s Club on Sunday morning and got some more stuff for us. We didn’t expect the numbers we got on Saturday and we noticed that right away, so we tried to do the best we could. Luckily some people here in town were gracious enough. Gram’s Ice Cream had a case of cheese they sold to us, so it was really nice that we were able to get through at least to Sunday…right towards the end of Sunday we were out of cheese for our cheese fries about 45 minutes before we closed. But otherwise we made it that far with all our products and we were able to get people fed.”
The event was almost completely contactless, helping prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
“Our plan for COVID worked really well. With taking the orders, taping them to the windshield and pulling them off. There wasn’t a lot of contact. I was wearing a mask, I was doing a lot of the order taking. Everybody that was working that was grabbing tickets were wearing masks and gloves…A lot of people were impressed that were doing the way we were doing it, so there wasn’t a lot of touching and contact going on. All the food was put in containers and bags, so there wasn’t a lot of contact going on there.”
Funds from the drive-thru will be used to give back to the community.
“Anybody who needs anything around the community. We like doing service projects. We like going out and doing things around the community. We built a shed down for the Senior Citizens Center, that sort of stuff. We just like having the money to help our community, and we also help the state and internationally with sight and hearing. So we do a lot with hearing aids and glasses and that sort of thing for people that need those all around. Not only in Havre but in the state, in the country, everywhere.”
The event’s success has sparked talk of an encore drive-thru, but Toth says that isn’t likely to come in the near future.
“We’ve been talking about that, but we are also recuperating from this weekend. So I don’t know. We were talking maybe about doing another one. We’re kind of going to wait and see how COVID ends up and see what happens, maybe in the spring. But it may happen again, you never know.”