Johnathan Hettinger —
Thursday, December 20, 2018
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Enterprise photos by Nate Howard

Reed Evje, a student in the Montessori Island Kindergarten Class raises his hand to answer a question presented by Food Resource Center program manager Kelsey Tanner, far left, Wednesday at the food center. Teacher Ruby Ensing, far right, brought her students to the food center to donate their collection of food.

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Hannah Boyce takes a peek at some cookies the students were offered following a class lesson at the Food Resource Center Wednesday.

The concept is so simple that even kindergarteners can understand it: You need a healthy environment — clean air, clean water, good soil — to grow healthy food.

That was the lesson the Montessori Island kindergarten class received on Wednesday while dropping off 148 pounds of food to the Food Resource Center. The class got a tour of the center, seeing the different types of foods and learning that other children sometimes need help.

The Food Resource Center was overflowing with generosity on Wednesday afternoon. In addition to the kindergartners, East Side School also donated 668 pounds of food and the Livingston Fire and Rescue department donated coats, hats and gloves for children.

The class of about 10 children learned about food insecurity from Kelsey Tanner, program coordinator at the Food Resource Center, and Michelle Uberuaga, executive director of Park County Environmental Council and field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force.

Uberuaga spoke to the class about how food grows and how a changing climate is affecting where and how food is grown.

“Everybody needs healthy air and clean water. People need that. Animals need that. That’s the basic gist of it. When you’re talking to kids, you focus on the fundamentals. Our bodies need air and water to thrive, and kids get that,” Uberuaga said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, climate change risks to food security are more likely to impact poor people. Overall, farmers are tasked with feeding a likely worldwide population of 10 billion people by 2050, despite projected declining crop yields.

While the class may not understand the details of climate change, the kids gave examples of when they had helped someone and when they needed help. The kids all listed one thing they brought, almost exclusively listing macaroni and cheese or peanut butter.

The food drive was organized by Moms Clean Air Force, the Park County Environmental Council and the Montessori Island School.

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