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Schools in Box Elder and Wibaux are among the seven groups that will share $135,000 to provide food related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, officials said Friday.

Gov. Steve Bullock, first lady Lisa Bullock and No Kid Hungry officials said Box Elder Public Schools will receive $7,700, Wibaux schools will get $5,000 and the Montana Food Bank Network will get $15,000.

Box Elder Public Schools, for example, plans to use grant funds to deliver meals to 150 children who are not part of the district, state officials said in a news release.

The Montana No Kid Hungry emergency relief grants are made possible by donations from Montana funders, including Walmart, Llewellyn Foundation, Montana Association of Realtors, Signal Peak Energy, Angora Ridge Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank.

Montana No Kid Hungry is a public-private partnership between the governor’s office, the Department of Public Health and Human Services and the national nonprofit Share Our Strength.

School nutrition teams, food banks, backpack programs and community organizations have pitched in to meet the needs of families coping with the impacts of COVID-19. Montana No Kid Hungry has been supporting these local efforts to get nutritious food to Montanans who need it by awarding grants throughout the past few weeks, officials said.

“No Montanan should have to worry about being able to feed their children,” Lisa Bullock said, adding she was grateful to the organizations helping the families.

Others receiving grants are $33,500 for the Butte School District,  $50,000 for Farm to School of Park County,  $14,750 for the Anaconda School District and $9,400 for Huntley Project Schools.

Also, Kalispell Public Schools was given a Montana No Kid Hungry grant of $15,000 last week. 

Each organization is using the grant funds differently to respond to local need, officials said, adding many are using them for Grab N’ Go meal services for families who had relied on school meals, as well as families finding themselves in need of new support since suffering impacts of COVID-19.

“After days of serving breakfast and lunch in six locations daily, we have observed that our children and families need more food than we are providing,”  said Principal Tammy Hurley with Anaconda School District. “They need a snack and some need an extra bag for dinner. We live in a high poverty county and we want to do everything possible to provide for our children.” 

For more information, contact Jenny Martini, Montana No Kid Hungry at jenny.martini@mt.gov

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