HELENA -- April 8th to 14th is Fight Childhood Hunger Week in Montana, and a Capital High School sophomore is working to raise awareness of food insecurity among students. Elaina Patten is in the process of earning her Girl scout Gold Award, the highest achievement a girl scout can earn.
Her gold award project was influenced by several experiences. As part of her girl scout experience, Elaina volunteered with her school's food pantry where she helped gather and organize donations. Soon after volunteering, she noticed a classmate had gone without lunch, so she shared hers. She began packing extra food and continued to share with that student for several months. This incident inspired her to something more.
“You just get this like feeling inside that you’re doing something to actually change. Instead of just always thinking like ‘oh I could do this or that’ but actually going out and doing it and making the change feels good,” said Patten.
Apart of her Gold Award project, Elaina hosted a luncheon on Monday in the rotunda of the Capitol Building where Governor Steve Bullock, First Lady and legislators were all in attendance and learned about food insecurity in Montana. She will also be hosting a hunger dinner on Tuesday night at CHS, in hopes of raising awareness about food insecurity, along with increasing donations and destigmatizing the use of the school’s food pantry.
On Wednesday, the public is encouraged to wear orange to help raise awareness about food insecurity in Montana.