FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 4, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Lisa Lee, Montana No Kid Hungry, 444-3518
Brad Griffin, Montana Retail and Restaurant Associations, 206-4458
Round It Up Montana, Governor Steve Bullock, No Kid Hungry, Prostart, and Montana Retail and Restaurant Associations Create Innovative Partnership to Combat Childhood Hunger, Provide Educational Opportunities
Helena, Mont.—Governor Steve Bullock today, along with First Lady Lisa Bullock, representatives from the Montana Retail and Restaurant Associations, Prostart and No Kid Hungry, announced a new innovative partnership to allow Montanans to invest in their efforts to combat childhood hunger and make educational opportunities more accessible. The new partnership, dubbed Round It Up Montana, will give customers of participating Montana restaurants and retailers an opportunity to round their bill up to the nearest dollar, with those funds going to support the No Kid Hungry Campaign, ProStart, and other Montana nonprofits.
“As Montanans, we recognize that our greatest obligation is to ensure the next generation is healthy, fed, and well educated. The Round It Up Montana initiative will help us live up to this obligation,” Bullock said. “This partnership will ensure more Montana kids have access to nutritious meals and opportunities to explore possible career paths.
“I’ve seen firsthand the generosity of Montana retailers and restaurants, and their customers,” said Brad Griffin, Director of the Montana Retail Association. “Working with Governor Bullock and our members, this innovative partnership will provide Montanans with a new way to make a real impact in their communities.”
At launch, Round It Up Montana has a number of participating businesses, including Glacier Restaurant Group, which owns Mackenzie River Pizza Company, Ciao Mambo, Latitude 48 and Craggy Ranger. In addition, Montana Albertsons locations are participating with their Making Change program, where customers can contribute $1, $3 or $5 to No Kid Hungry-Montana when they check-out.
“I’m honored that Glacier Restaurant Group is among the first retailers to participate in the Round It Up Montana program,” said Ryan Fuller, Director of Operations of Glacier Restaurant Group. “We are committed to combating childhood hunger and expanding educational opportunities in Montana, which is why guests at our restaurants will be asked to make a small contribution to these efforts every time they visit. I look forward to making a significant investment in these important causes.”
Griffin is encouraging members of the Montana Retail and Restaurant Associations to join the Round It Up Montana program. Interested retailers and restaurants can find more information about the program at www.RoundItUpAmerica.org/Montana. Contributions will stay in Montana and be split between No Kid Hungry and Prostart, as well as up to 3 other local nonprofits chosen by participating retailers and restauranteurs.
Bullock has made combating childhood hunger a key component of his administration. Through the No Kid Hungry campaign, he has worked to feed more kids through increasing participation in School Breakfast programs. Bullock has garnered more than $100,000 in contributions from Montana businesses to provide grants to schools that start new breakfast programs or implement new ways to serve breakfast such as offering Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab n’ Go options to make breakfast part of every student’s morning schedule. Through School Breakfast, Summer and Afterschool Meals, Montana No Kid Hungry improves access to healthy food and provides nutrition education to ensure that our kids reach their full potential.
ProStart® is a two-year high school program that was developed by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation to teach the next generation of students about both the management and culinary sides of the restaurant business. A unique and valuable feature of ProStart® is the partnership between the industry mentors and the classrooms. We currently have 18 high schools across Montana that are teaching the ProStart® curriculum. Those schools are: Belgrade, Billings Career Center, Bozeman Boulder, Drummond, Helena High, Red Lodge, Sunburst, White Sulphur, Missoula Hellgate, Missoula Sentinel, Missoula Big Sky, Great Falls Paris Gibson, Chester, Malta, Cascade, Helena Capital, Huntley Project, and Hot Springs.
ROUND IT UP AMERICA® (RIUA) is the platform for Round It Up Montana. Participating restaurants and retailers provide their patrons with an opportunity to “round up” to the nearest dollar on their credit card receipt where there is an extra line to “Round Up For Charity.” At a minimum, 91% of all funds go to charity. RIUA is operating in hundreds of locations in 22 states. RIUA has raised over $2.5 million and disbursed funds to more than 80 charities across the U.S. For more information, visit www.rounditupamerica.org, or call 855-554-RIUA (7482).