This month I had the opportunity to present at the Montana Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Conference with my fellow AmeriCorps VISTA, Natalie Redick. We presented a workshop, Talkin’ Trash, a way to address food insecurity and prevent food waste in schools. After giving an introduction of what food insecurity in Montana looks like and ways schools are preventing food waste, we opened up the floor to hear from the students their ideas. Natalie and I were a little worried at first about the workshop, but we could not have had a better group! The students were engaged, interactive, and ready to participate. Not only were they committed, but they also had incredible ideas! One student, who set up a community garden as her own FCCLA project, came up with the idea to can their garden produce and use it for the backpack and pantry program at their school. I was blown away by her! She came up to me after our presentation and asked if I knew how she could expand her garden and use the produce to feed children and families in need. We together talked about some options, where she could find grants, and other ideas and I also gave her my contact information to help her in the future.

Another marvelous idea was to use leftover food from lunch, create a community garden, and start composting. After our discussion, we wrapped up with a cooking demonstration of overnight oats, and I explained the nutritional benefits. Then finally we ended the session with a taste test of our healthy, whole wheat banana bread. After tallying the votes one student tried it, thirteen liked it, and thirty-two loved it! Overall it was a very successful conference and workshop, and I was extremely pleased we had the chance to participate.

Gilly Levy
Montana No Kid Hungry-PRC AmeriCorps VISTA
Hardin, MT


This month has been a whirlwind!  I had my Family Dinner Project, traveled to Helena, had a booth and demonstration workshop at an FCCLA Conference, and traveled home to the East Coast for Easter! 

Gilly and I participated in the FCCLA conference on March 18-19.  We had a table set up on the first day with all kinds of different information on No Kid Hungry and what we are working to achieve, along with some healthy recipe ideas, flyers on Fight Childhood Hunger Week, and other fun ideas for them to implement.  We talked to a ton of kids on that first day, and a lot of them seemed pretty interested in what we had to say, and for high schoolers that seems like a success!  

The second day, Gilly and I held a workshop called Talkin' Trash, where we talked about food waste in schools and how FCCLA classes can help eliminate the problem.  We played a game, went through some informative slides, had an interactive idea generating portion, did an overnight oats demonstration, and ended with a healthy banana bread taste test.  The workshop was my favorite part of the conference and we received some really great feedback from the students.  Overall, I think it was a good experience for No Kid Hungry and FCCLA to co-mingle!

Natalie Redick
Montana No Kid Hungry-PRC AmeriCorps VISTA
Billings, MT