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Governor and First Lady Bullock’s Youth Leadership Council Fight Childhood Hunger through Statewide Week of Events

Monday, April 8, 2019/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock today kicked off the 5th annual statewide Fight Childhood Hunger Week in Montana. From April 8-14, over 40 projects and events will take place in 16 communities across the state. Projects are organized and led by 19 middle and high school students who serve on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council.

“Nothing inspires me more than seeing students take the lead in fighting childhood hunger in their communities,” First Lady Bullock said today kicking off Fight Childhood Hunger Week. “Young people like Elaina and other members of the Youth Leadership Council are committing their time and energy to making a difference because they know firsthand when they have access to food, they can better focus on their most important job – learning.”

First Lady Bullock and Governor Bullock joined Youth Leadership Council member Elaina Patten at a luncheon at Montana’s State Capitol to kick off Fight Childhood Hunger Week. Attendees heard personal experiences with food insecurity in Montana, as well as information about childhood hunger in Montana and how to address it.

“Childhood hunger is a problem we can solve and it’s the work of these youth leaders that will help us in doing that,” said Governor Bullock. “Lisa and I are grateful for their efforts in shaping a world where every kid has the fuel they need to succeed.”

Projects are designed to increase awareness of the issue of childhood hunger, or to tackle childhood hunger in the state by starting new weekend backpack programs, school breakfast programs, or school food pantries, advocating to public and elected leaders about the importance of this issue, and coordinating volunteers to directly serve the community.

Fight Childhood Hunger Week projects include:

Billings: 24 Hour Walk-a-thon at Rimrock Mall

Bozeman: “Spring for Food” All Schools Food Drive

Charlo: Poverty Simulations for 6th-12th grade classes, Community Dinner and Community Movie Night

Glendive: 5K Color Run

Hardin: “Hunger, Let’s Talk About It” Awareness Event

Helena: Hunger Luncheon at the Capitol Rotunda and Hunger Dinner at Capitol High School

Trout Creek: Fun Run and Quilt Raffle

For a complete list of Fight Childhood Hunger Week projects, visit

In addition to the projects hosted by the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council, Montana No Kid Hungry is encouraging Montanans to participate in Wear Orange Wednesday on April 10th and share photos on social media using the #WearOrangeWednesday and tagging @mtnokidhungry.

2018-2019 Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council members:

Brielle Aklestad, Grade 11, Shelby High School, Galata

Deidra Beads Don’t Mix, Grade 12, Hardin High School, Crow Agency

Elaina Patten, Grade 10, Capital High School, Helena

Elaina Keast, Grade 8, St. Ignatius Middle School, St. Ignatius

Erika Hernandez, Grade 12, Hardin High School, Hardin

Gabrielle Higbee, Grade 8, Washington Middle School, Glendive

Hank Rugg, Grade 11, Frenchtown High School, Missoula

Hattie Neesvig, Grade 7, Thompson Falls Junior High, Trout Creek

Jon Hertz, Grade 11, Billings West High School, Billings

Kaitlyn Miller, Grade 8, Nashua K-12 Public School, Nashua

Katie Kaiser, Grade 12, Glasgow High School, Glasgow

Kaylee Yeager, Grade 11, Custer County District High School, Miles City

Kelsyn Lohr, Grade 11, Shelby High School, Shelby

Leif Clark, Grade 12, Butte High School, Butte

Nina Friedman, Grade 11, Glacier High School, Whitefish

Riley Gilsdorf, Grade 10, Billings Senior High School, Billings

Ruby West, Grade 8, Sacajawea Middle School, Bozeman

Sidney DeLong, Grade 9, Hamilton High School, Hamilton

Taylor Olsen, Grade 12, Charlo Schools, Charlo

Full biographies and more information on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council can be found at

The First Interstate Bank Foundation is the presenting sponsor of the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes National Service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness.


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