Great Fish Community Challenge to benefit local nonprofit organizations

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Farmhands- Nourish the Flathead is looking to raise funds to support its School Backpack program in Columbia Falls.

Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead is looking for support for its programs in Columbia Falls over the next few weeks as part of the Great Fish Community Challenge.

The massive Challenge is a fundraising effort sponsored by the Whitefish Community Foundation, which will provide a percentage match on the first $20,000 raised by each participating nonprofit organization. In the past few years, the matching grant has been around 50 percent, but Farm Hands received $37,000 last year.

This year, the organization has a goal of $60,000, as Farm Hands has taken over the Columbia Falls School Backpack Program, with an estimated cost of $120,000.

“There are a few donors in Columbia Falls that have been extremely generous in helping us out, but we are looking to really get the whole community involved,” Farm Hands Executive Director Gretchen Boyer said. “A five dollar donation may not seem like much, but when you get it from a lot of people, it really adds up.”

Farm Hands has been expanding its efforts in Columbia Falls over the past year, upgrading the Backpack Program, providing healthy fresh fruit and vegetable snacks for elementary students and instituting a summer feeding program for school-aged children.

Along with Farm Hands, there are several other organizations based in Columbia Falls which are taking part in the challenge, including the Columbia Falls High School swim team, Glacier Institute, Gateway to Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park Conservancy, Glacier Nordic Club, Montana Kayak Academy and North Valley Food Bank.

For more information on the challenge, visit https://www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/great-fish/.

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