Columbia Falls High School Students Receive 2,000 Masks

Ford Motor Company donated masks to the Montana Food Bank Network, which were distributed by Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead to local teens, with an emphasis on homeless students

By Maggie Dresser
The Columbia Falls High School food pantry. Courtesy photo

With help from Ford Motor Company’s 100 Million Mask Donation fundraiser and the Montana Food Bank Network, local nonprofit Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead distributed 2,000 donated masks to Columbia Falls students.

Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead Executive Director Gretchen Boyer says some kids don’t have access to nice, homemade masks, and she stresses the importance of distributing them to the youth.

Masks are located in the Columbia Falls High School food pantry, where students can receive a mask and safely shop for food.

“We’ve been highlighting the homeless high school students who are the most vulnerable,” Boyer said.

The food pantry provides options for students in different situations, depending on what type of structure they have at home. For example, some students may only have a microwave where they are staying while others are staying in a car without access to cooking appliances, so the pantry is supplied for all types of circumstances.

Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead works with the Montana Food Bank Network to stock the pantry and also runs the Backpack Program in Columbia Falls, which distributes food to students throughout the school district.

In addition to the food pantry, the nonprofit recently donated Thanksgiving bags to almost 400 kids, which included the Ford Fund masks, and gives weekend food packages to 250 elementary and middle school students in the Columbia Falls school district through The Weekend Backpack Program.

Ford Motor Company has already donated 260,000 masks to Montanans and 36.5 million masks nationwide.

Farmhands – Nourish the Flathead is a nonprofit collaboration of farmers and business leaders with the mission of building strong community food systems in socially just ways.

“COVID has really amplified the need for food security,” Boyer said. “We, as well as many nonprofits, are working hard to meet that need and we can only do that with the support of our community.”

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