Montana Hunger Relief Forum
MFBN hosted our annual conference, Montana Hunger Relief Forum, for the first time since May 2019. Covid-19 precautions prevented the gathering in 2020 & 2021, so we were excited to bring partners together again this year! The Hunger Relief Forum was held in Missoula May 18-19, 2022, hosted by MFBN’s Programs & Agencies Department.
The audience for this forum was MFBN’s partner agencies including food pantry, shelter and soup kitchen operators, senior center partners as well as BackPack and School Pantry Program coordinators from across the state, with a goal of learning and networking together. New this year, we included a virtual attendance option with twelve partners tuning in online. Our total attendance for the two-day event was fifty attendees, twelve presenters and seventeen MFBN staff members.
We were thrilled to have engagement and support from Jill Valley with KPAX, Missoula’s Christian Life Center, Western Montana Growers Coop, Missoula Food Bank & Community Center, Montana No Kid Hungry and Producer Partnership who joined us from Livingston.
The forum included a key note opening presentation by Katie S. Martin, author and Executive Director of Connecticut Foodshare with opportunities for reinventing food bank and food pantry services.
Breakout sessions, presentations and workshops on topics such as grant writing, board engagement and purchasing local foods, were conducted by Rachel Gooen Consulting, The Dotted i, Hopa Mountain, MT DPHHS, along with several trainings by MFBN staff. An extra special thanks to FAST Blackfeet’s Danielle Antelope, Centerpole Foundation’s Peggy Wellknown Buffalo, and Arlee Community Development Corp’s Shelly Fyant for their insightful panel conversations on indigenous and traditional foods, we learned so much from these panelists!
The forum this year was a delightful two-day conference full of engagement, learning, reconnecting, collaboration, and fun! More links with guest speaker notes coming soon!
“Thank you, this is the most fun conference I have ever been to!”
Susan Kelly, Centerpole Foundation
“Thank you for having me, I look forward to helping your partners with grant-seeking resources in the future.”
Hannah Cortez, The Dotted i