HELENA, MT- April 11-17, 2016 marks the second annual statewide Fight Childhood Hunger Week in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day. Over 30 projects and events will take place in 16 different communities stretching across the state. Projects are organized and led by 20 middle and high school students who serve on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council.
Projects are designed to increase awareness of the issue of childhood hunger, to start new weekend backpack programs, school breakfast programs, or school food pantries, to advocate to public and elected leaders about the importance of this issue, and to coordinate volunteers to directly serve the community.
“From Rocky Boy to Lima and from Glasgow to Kalispell, these students are giving their talents and passion back to the community and showing that they can make a difference when it comes to hunger,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “I look forward to joining these students during Fight Childhood Hunger Week in raising awareness of this important issue. It’s truly incredible to see the positive impact that youth can have on those around them.”
“It takes a whole community effort to ensure that we can end childhood hunger in Montana, and with these students at the helm, I am confident we will make great strides this week for our state’s youngest learners.” said First Lady Lisa Bullock. “These youth leaders see this issue firsthand when they go to school and see friends or classmates who start the day hungry. They also know that together, childhood hunger is an issue we can solve.”
Fight Childhood Hunger Week signature events include:
• Kalispell: Launch of the MontanaEats application for Android by Governor Bullock on Tuesday, April 12 at 2:00pm at the ImagineIF Library. MontanaEats was coded by Youth Leadership Council member, Sophia Skwarchuk, to consolidate hunger resources in Montana.
• Frenchtown: Miles for Meals 5k run on Sunday, April 17 at 10:00am at Frenchtown Elementary School. Proceeds will support a new weekend backpack program. Governor Bullock and his family will participate in the run.
• Browning: Set up of a new school food pantry and weeklong food collections at Browning Middle School and Browning High School.
• Glasgow: City-wide food drive to collect items from community members on Saturday, April 9 for a new weekend “snack pack” program at the elementary school.
• Lima: Community Spaghetti Dinner on Thursday, April 14 at 6:00pm at Lima Public Schools to raise funds to support the weekend backpack program and to bring community members together to discuss implementing a new breakfast in the classroom program.
• Livingston: A showing of the documentary “A Place at the Table” on Wednesday, April 13 at 6:00pm at the Shane Lalani Center. Proceeds will support Livingston’s summer meals program.
• Hamilton: Hamilton Middle School assembly on Monday, April 11 from 11:20am to 12:30pm to raise awareness of the issue of childhood hunger.
• Havre: Presentation on solutions to childhood hunger in the Havre community on Friday, April 15 at 4:00pm at the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Line.
• Helena: The Montana State Capitol will be lit in orange for Wear Orange Wednesday, April 13. Helena High School students, along with First Lady Bullock, will volunteer at the Helena Food Share on Wednesday, April 13 from 4:00-7:00pm.
For a complete list of Fight Childhood Hunger Week projects, visit FightChildhoodHunger.com.
2015-2016 Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council members:
• Drew Briggs, Helena Middle School, Helena, 8th grade
• Emily Brurud, Havre High School, Havre, 11th grade
• Morgan Guttenberg, Glasgow High School, Fort Peck, 11th grade
• Seamus Hoolahan, Anaconda High School, Anaconda, 9th grade
• Abby Jones, Helena High School, East Helena, 12th grade
• Duncan MacDonald, White Sulphur Springs High School, White Sulphur Springs, 10th grade
• Shania Patacsil, Rocky Boy Jr/Sr High School, Box Elder, 11th grade
• Hank Rugg, Frenchtown Junior High School, Missoula, 8th grade
• Tessa Sawyer, Beaverhead County High School, Dillon, 11th grade
• Kaitlyn Sharp, Browning High School, Browning, 11th grade
• Rachael Skiera, Shelby High School, Shelby, 11th grade
• Sophia Skwarchuk, Flathead High School, Kalispell, 11th grade
• Mackenzie Spence, Alberton High School, Alberton, 11th grade
• Allison Stevens, Park High School, Livingston, 12th grade
• Katelynn Sutton, Lima High School, Dell, 10th grade
• Jillian TopSky, Rocky Boy Jr/Sr High School, Box Elder, 10th grade
• Garrett Turner, Hamilton Middle School, Hamilton, 7th grade
• Emily Weber, C.M. Russell High School, Great Falls, 10th grade
• Stephanie Woodland, Flathead High School, Kalispell, 11th grade
• Keshawna Yazzie, Browning High School, Browning, 12th grade
Full biographies and more information on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council can be found at FightChildhoodHunger.com.
The First Interstate Bank Foundation is the presenting sponsor of the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council.
Fight Childhood Hunger Week events are held in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). GYSD is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. Now in its 28th year, GYSD is celebrated in more than 110 countries.
The Governor’s Office of Community Service was selected to serve as a GYSD Lead Agency by Youth Service America, the founder and chief convener of GYSD. In total, over 750 young people in Montana will participate in GYSD activities this year. State Farm is the presenting sponsor of GYSD in the United States.
The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes National Service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness.