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First Lady Bullock announces winners of Montana No Kid Hungry essay


May 6, 2015

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

               Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


First Lady Bullock announces winners of Montana No Kid Hungry essay contest

First Lady Lisa Bullock announced the winners of the inaugural No Kid Hungry Essay Contest today as the closing act of April’s Fight Childhood Hunger celebration.

The contest was open to 6th, 7th and 8th graders across the state, who were asked to write essays addressing the following questions: “Why is it so important to end childhood hunger in America?” and, “What could you, your friends/family, or your school do to help end childhood hunger in your community?”

Hundreds of students participated in the essay exercise, and teachers across the state nominated 75 selected essays for consideration in the statewide contest.

“These essays were truly inspirational,” Bullock said. “One in five kids in Montana struggles with hunger, and reading the wisdom and determination in these young Montanans’ voices gives me hope for our fight against childhood hunger in Montana.”

First prize went to Eva Bruce, a 6th grader at Kalispell Middle School who loves to read and bake cupcakes.

“Hunger is a monster that destroys everything in its path,” reads her winning essay. “It demolishes hopes of a better, brighter future.”

She also writes, “This is a problem all over America, a country with untold wealth, power and influence. Yet we do little for hunger victims. Every day, children go hungry. This needs to change.”

Kalispell Middle School will receive a check for $1000 to use on classroom expenses as a prize, and Eva herself will receive a $200 Amazon.com gift card.

“She is an amazing young lady, and so deserving of this honor,” says her teacher, Ann Castren, who nominated Eva’s winning essay.

Second prize went to Lauren Helbling, who was nominated by teacher Suzy Fabian of C.R. Anderson Middle School in Helena. Lauren will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift card and her school will receive $500.

Lauren writes, “As an individual, I know I can’t change the world on my own, but with the support of our communities’ public schools and food share, I’m sure we can make a huge impact. …while there’s a lot more change needed in order to eradicate childhood hunger in Montana, we must all work together as a community to help. Small changes such as providing nutritious breakfasts every day, add up to a big difference.”

Third prize went to Courtney Tudor, of Plevna, Montana. Her essay was nominated by teacher Penny Sparks.  Courtney will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card.

“If Montana can get rid of hunger, we will be solving more than one problem. By feeding a child we increase their chances to score better academically and develop stronger minds,” Courtney writes. “This will help prepare them for college and other advance schooling as well as their future careers. With proper food we are not only ensuring their success but also Montana’s future prosperity.”

The contest was organized by Montana No Kid Hungry of the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Office, the Montana Office of Public Instruction, and the Montana Food Bank Network. Prizes were generously donated by Montana Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. Each winner also received handwritten notes from the First Lady.

“This contest helped raise awareness about the current heartbreaking reality of childhood hunger in our state as well as the optimistic future as we continue to fight it,” Bullock said. “I look forward to hearing from more of our talented, visionary students in next year’s contest.”

The complete text of the prize winning essays can be found on mt.nokidhungry.org/essay-contest.