Community sends nutrition aid off with farewell meal


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By: BETHANY ROLFSON/The Western News

On Thursday, Troy Public School Administration held a farewell dinner for Rikki Luebke, a Montana No Kid Hungry AmeriCorps member who served Troy Public Schools over the recent school year.

AmeriCorps sets young adults up with intensive community outreach programs where they help move communities forward, and Montana No Kid Hungry is one of the programs young adults are placed. Montana No Kid Hungry’s mission is to end child hunger in Montana by working alongside food assistance programs to increase participation, outreach, benefits and education.

Luebke was born and raised in Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University last spring with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

After graduation, Luebke said she applied to become an AmeriCorps member and chose to come to the Libby and Troy area.

“It’s been very rewarding, I’ve grown so much professionally and personally by moving out here and creating programs for these kids,” said Luebke.

Over the school year, Luebke helped increase nutrition education and access to healthy food through meal programs. She was mainly focused in Troy but also reached out to Libby to provide extra help with breakfast after the bell for sixth graders.

“One thing that [Luebke] did that was really great was incorporate nutrition exercises with the PE class,” said Diane Rewerts, the principal at W.F. Morrison Elementary School.

Luebke also helped advertise and apply for a grant to pay for transportation for the Troy summer meal program.

“It was really great to be apart of this school district, everyone here is so friendly and considerate,” said Luebke.

Although Luebke is no longer serving the Troy Public Schools, she will stay in the area for a while longer to help with the Libby Summer Meals Program.

Currently, Luebke is planning on finishing up her general education courses, and then attending physician’s assistant school in Billings at the Rocky Mountain College.

Libby summer meal programs meet at Asa Wood Elementary for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., activities from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For information about how to get involved in the Summer Meal Programs in Libby and Troy, contact Luebke by phone at (260)715-5752 or by email RLuebke@mt.gov, or contact Ellen Mills are 293-8811.

Reporter Bethany Rolfson may be reached at 293-4124 or by email at Reporter@TheWesternNews.com.