MISSOULA, Montana--The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee presented a check for $9000 to the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) during their luncheon Tuesday, November 15 in Missoula. The luncheon was part of the 103rd MFBF Annual Convention November 14-17 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula.

The donation came from proceeds raised during the YF&R Hoofin’ It for Hunger Race September 17 in Dillon thanks to generous local sponsors, participants and county Farm Bureaus. Although this marked the 12th year for the race, in 2020 and 2021, it was held virtually. This year, participants competed in a 5K or 10K. Virtual runners who opted not to run made up a portion of the proceeds to the Montana Food Bank Network.

YF&R Committee Chair J.M. Peck said, “The YF&R Committee is proud to continue our Hoofin’ it for Hunger Race and Fundraiser and were able to move it across the state to engage with another community. As young people who work every day to raise the food we eat, we have a special appreciation for the work it takes and recognize the importance of a harvest for all.  Young farmers and ranchers around the state are working to promote vibrant rural communities and we want to be able to help those in need or folks who need a little extra to get through a tough time.  That is why raising money for the Montana Food Bank Network continues to be a top priority for our Y&FR Committee members around the state.”

MFBN Chief Development Officer Bill Mathews noted, “The Montana Food Bank Network is grateful for the support and partnership with Montana Farm Bureau Federation and Young Farmers & Ranchers over the last 12 years. The Hoofin' it for Hunger event has created awareness for hunger relief in Montana over time, and has raised nearly $80,000 cumulative, including this year's donation. That amount has provided at least 400,000 meals to those in need.”

Mathews explained that hunger issues in 2022 due to inflation (higher gas and food costs) statewide are tremendous, and donations like this have a significant impact on those facing food insecurity on a day-to-day basis. The Missoula-based Montana Food Bank Network, as the only statewide food bank, secures and distributes donated and low-cost food to over 340 network partners that include food banks, food pantries, senior centers, shelters and schools throughout Montana. MFBN distributes food to all 56 counties in Montana.

“Thank you, Montana Farm Bureau Federation and Young Farmers & Ranchers from all of us here at Montana Food Bank Network,” said Mathews.