Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock convened middle and high school students from throughout Montana to discuss the issue of childhood hunger in their communities on Friday, Nov. 22. Sophomore Mara Old Person and junior BreeAnna Polk, both of Browning, were among the 21 members representing middle and high schools in 15 different communities across Montana, from Billings and Box Elder to Olive and Forsyth, and who will implement projects to address childhood hunger where they live.
“There is no excuse for children to go hungry in our state or in this country, yet it happens – every day, in every community,” said Governor Bullock. “That’s why I’m so impressed with this group of dedicated students who have taken it upon themselves to become leaders in their communities and solve a problem that we know has a solution.”
“These are leaders who recognize first-hand that students need full stomachs to learn, grow and reach their full potential, and who can make a real difference for their friends, neighbors and community,” said First Lady Bullock. “I know that with their service and dedication, we will get even closer to ending childhood hunger in Montana.”
During the full-day retreat at the State Capitol, the youth leaders met with Governor and First Lady Bullock, learned about food insecurity in Montana, participated in leadership development and project management training, and began planning projects to address childhood hunger during Fight Childhood Hunger Week, April 13-19, 2020.
The Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council is now in its sixth year and is hosted by the Governor’s Office of Community Service. Since 2014, over 110 students across Montana have raised over $64,000 and have helped nearly 10,000 Montanans with 174 different service projects through the Council. Past projects have included food drives, fundraising efforts, new school breakfast and weekend backpack programs, educational programs and mobile applications.