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Isabella Aaseng - Governor and First Lady's Council on Childhood Hunger

 Isabell Aaseng  Governor and First Lady Fight Childhood Hunger Youth Leadership Council
 My name is Isabella Aaseng, I am a Frenchtown eighth grader. This year I was honored to attend the Governor and First Lady Fight Childhood Hunger Youth Leadership Council. This Council focuses on giving students in Montana the resources needed to help eliminate childhood hunger in their community. I wanted to join this council to help students at Frenchtown Schools understand that childhood hunger is a reality in our community. I know that I want to help anybody in need, and I hope that I can inspire other students to help as well.  In fact, I have already assembled a team of 6 students and 4 teachers to take on different aspects of this massive project.  More people will likely join the team as we get closer to April.
    Each student that attended the council on December 3rd went home with a tool belt full of resources to hold their own event in their community that will raise awareness and fundraise for food insecure families and children. I went home inspired to start a community garden tended by Frenchtown students. I had wanted to start this garden since the beginning of the school year when I ran for Student Body President. Although I lost the Election, I have not lost the passion and inspiration to bring organic produce to our community and school.
    The week that my project will be taking place is April 17-23, 2017, which is Fight Childhood Hunger Week. I am planning on having an assembly on Monday for the junior high and high school classes showing a video of students talking about what they think childhood hunger looks like. Students will learn the statistics of childhood hunger in Montana and that food insecurity is a reality. On Tuesday I would like to have a healthy snack break during the morning sometime after the bell. There will be fresh fruit and vegetables available to let kids try new foods that they otherwise wouldn't have tried or even have access to. On Wednesday I would like to have a student vs teacher basketball game where every student and teacher participating on a team will have to bring in an entry fee of 3-4 cans of food. On Thursday I would like to have a bake sale or cake walk to fundraise for the garden. On Friday we will start planting our plants in the garden. I would like to have starter seeds growing in classrooms as science projects so that the plants are already sprouted when we plant in the ground. We can also have a big food drive on Friday to donate to the local food banks in Frenchtown and Alberton.
I am extremely inspired to pursue this project and help raise awareness that childhood hunger is a reality in our community. I feel like this is a worthy project of our community’s time and effort because it helps provide food insecure students and families with locally grown organic produce that they otherwise would not have access to. I know this project will be challenging, but I am willing to work my hardest to help those in need.