Montana education leaders are meeting with folks from the Montana Food Security Council today in Helena as part of the first statewide “Hunger Summit,” which tackles the problem of hungry children.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that one in 10 Montanans live daily lives of “food insecurity,” meaning there is not always enough food to go around – and more than 85,000 Montana children live in such households.

According to the summit news announcement, “The short and long-term outcomes of poor nutrition and inconsistent access to healthy food lead to health, social, and economic problems for Montana communities. Children growing up with hunger are less likely to become employed, financially secure adults. Montana communities will benefit from increased information about child hunger and be able to seize opportunities to end the problem.”

The one-day summit, jointly hosted by the Council and by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, is also bringing people from private business, foundations, service organizations and public health agencies as well as health care professionals, elected officials and members of the faith community.

“The problem of children without adequate and healthy food is serious, and this summit creates an opportunity for a diverse group of people to come and share their ideas on planning future actions to solve the problem in a sustainable way,” Minkie Medora of the Food Security Council said in a prepared statement.

“Hungry children have difficulty learning,” added Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. “We look forward to hearing from community leaders from across the state to help find better ways to decrease hunger for Montana’s children.”

And Missoula Mom looks forward to hearing the solutions they come up with.

– MM