Whitefish Community Foundation has awarded a $7,700 Kids Fund grant to Land to Hand to expand and upgrade a food, clothing and resource pantry for students at Columbia Falls High School. Land to Hand is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the Columbia Falls School District to provide weekend and supplemental food for K-12 students.

Since 2018, Land to Hand has operated a small pantry at the high school, serving 50 to 60 students per week with basic needs. The organization recently acquired access to a larger space for the high school pantry, which will allow them to better serve students. Whitefish Community Foundation’s Kids Fund grant will be used to purchase a refrigerator, microwave, table, shelving, food, hygiene products, and more for the pantry. Students will be able to “shop” for the items they need, as well as prepare food in the new space.

“Columbia Falls High School’s dedication to making sure that all students have access to nutritious food is vital to our community’s success,” Land to Hand Executive Director Gretchen Boyer said. “When students thrive, we all thrive.”

The Kids Fund was created in 2019 to support programs in the areas of health, safety and education that mitigate challenges and prevent local youth from becoming homeless. To date, Whitefish Community Foundation has awarded nearly $600,000 in Kids Fund grants to Flathead Valley nonprofit organizations, including Flathead Youth Home, CASA for Kids, Child Bridge, Boys & Girls Club of Glacier Country, Center for Restorative Youth Justice, Nate Chute Foundation and Bigfork ACES.

“Our mental and physical health are often the first to suffer when we don’t have access to the basic necessities of life, and we are thankful that Land to Hand is partnering with Columbia Falls High School to support students and their families,” Whitefish Community Foundation President/CEO Alan Davis said. “Whitefish Community Foundation feels privileged to support this project and help Flathead Valley nonprofits address the needs of our local communities.”