Montanans Receive Recognition for Reducing Hunger, Improving Nutrition

Montanans Receive Recognition for Reducing Hunger, Improving Nutrition

The Food Security Council of the Montana Food Bank Network, which works to improve long term food security and reduce hunger in Montana, is pleased to announce its recognition of individuals and organizations who have truly made a difference in the fight against hunger in Montana. First Lady Lisa Bullock and Gayle Carlson, CEO of the Montana Food Bank Network, presented the awards at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 10, 2017 in Helena.

Treasure State Award: For the Most Treasured Volunteer
Julie Delvin, Missoula Food Bank, Missoula, MT

Julie Devlin is an exemplary volunteer and community member.  Julie has been a valued addition to the Food Banks “Kids Table” program as well as a caring help to customers visiting the food bank pantry.  She is also invested in seniors and spends many hours each week making sure the organization is getting the financial and community support it needs to serve the senior population.  From kids to seniors, Julie believes that everyone should be treated with the utmost consideration, dignity and respect.

Gates of the Mountains: For Opening the Gates to End Hunger
Kathy Arnado, West Yellowstone Food Panty, West Yellowstone, MT

Kathi is an employee for the town of West Yellowstone and oversees the town’s food pantry.  West Yellowstone Food Pantry was one of the very first agencies to work with MFBN to offer SNAP application assistance.  She is also well known as the community’s “go to” resource guide whenever someone needs help navigating the social services maze.  Kathi also works diligently to educate our policymakers on the needs in her community and traveled to DC last year to meet with Montana’s Congressional leaders.  Kathi isn’t just opening the gates to end hunger, she is working vigilantly to end poverty in her community.

Big Sky Award: for Business of the Year
Sam’s Club of Great Falls, MT

In 2018, Sam’s Club of Great Falls donated 361,116 pounds of produce, bakery, mixed food, meat and non-food items to the Great Falls Salvation Army.  This donation process would not happen without the dedicated efforts of all of Sam’s Club personnel from the floor employee who pulls and scans the donation to the receiving staff that help load the trucks.  But sometimes it’s not just food that helps to brighten someone’s day.  An elderly lady came to the Salvation Army for food assistance.  Sam’s Club had just donated some excess flower arrangements and the lady was given some flowers in her food box.  The Salvation Army later received a note from her saying that on that day she had just received some bad news from her doctor and the flowers had not only lifted her spirits but given her hope.   This is just one of the many reasons we would like to thank Sam’s Club and present them with the Big Sky Award.

Amber Waves of Grain Award: For Promoting Local Healthy Food
Aubree Roth,  Montana Team Nutrition,  Bozeman, MT

Aubree took the lead in creating, coordinating and promoting the “Montana Harvest of the Month” program, helping schools provide nutrition education in the classroom.  She has dedicated countless hours to raising funds to hold two Farm to School Summits to bring together enthusiasts from across the state to further Farm to School efforts. The Harvest of the Month program reaches on average 135-140 schools each year, providing activities such as taste tests of local foods to students, featuring new local foods in the cafeteria, promoting local foods with fund education activities, and supporting the school in procuring foods locally.  Throughout all her work, Aubree’s passion for promoting healthy, local food to Montanans is clearly demonstrated through her dedication, excitement and enthusiasm for Farm to School efforts.

Lewis and Clark Award: For Discovering Ways to Fight Hunger
West Yellowstone Job and Social Service /  West Yellowstone Food Bank

The West Yellowstone Job and Social Service along with the West Yellowstone Food Bank were nominated for their positive approach with long term problem solving and support to promote independence and stability.  During the winter season, many residents of this community are laid off for six month. Staff and volunteers go out of their way to provide food, guidance through public assistance programs, job services and many other programs to help alleviate stress and hardship upon the family.  The West Yellowstone Food Bank partnered with the West Yellowstone Foundation to establish an endowment securing long-term funds for food assistance.  They also helped to bridge language barriers by securing a translator on a tablet to help those receiving assistance that had minimal English speaking skills. Together, their goal is to provide a bridge out of poverty to every person that walks in their door.

Glacier Award: For Moving Mountains to End Hunger
Judy Preston, Ronan Bread Basket Food Pantry, Ronana, MT

Judy Preston is currently the Board Chair for Ronan Bread Basket food pantry.  Under her leadership the organization has expanded in many ways. The facility has tripled in size, allowing more area to sort, store and unload inventory as well as provide more space for client distribution.  She implemented the BackPack program in the school district, raising funds to provide more than 4500 meals over the past three years.  Judy has also been responsible for growing the board to eleven members and providing team building workshops and planning sessions.  Judy’s term will be ending soon and the Board wanted to recognize her for her efforts.

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The Food Security Council is a council of the Montana Food Bank Network.  The council works to improve long term food security and reduce hunger in Montana. Visit https://mfbn.org/food-security-council/ for more information.

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