Glacier Park Collection

Pursuit’s Promise to Place is evident in all aspects of a location — its environment, its community and its people. Team members in our Glacier Park Collection are committed to supporting a group of special people through the Weekend Backpack Program at Land to Hand.

Supporting Our Community Together

The grassroots organization Land to Hand Montana was originally founded as Farm Hands by a group of farmers, business owners and food system planners in the Flathead Valley. The visionaries who focused on growing healthy food would grow much more than crops in the coming years. Their organization is a fertile framework for a community food system that enables access, distribution and education to its most vulnerable members.

And true to the grassroots origin, the relationship between Glacier Park Collection and Land to Hand sprouted and continues to grow. Kayla Hartley, Glacier Park Collection director of sales, remembers the origin of the partnership. “As president of the Lions Club, I was in touch with [Farm Hands’] outreach and volunteer manager, Andrea Getts. They were having trouble assembling enough volunteers for their big events. They couldn’t meet the demand, and that’s where we stepped in. Now, Pursuit is Land to Hand’s go-to partner for all large-scale events. Whenever they anticipate a huge effort, we answer the call,” she recounts.

Three Pillars of Promise to Place — Stewardship, Respect and Community

Some volunteer efforts, like building houses or eradicating noxious weeds, require hard labor. Others consist of brainy tasks, like operational brainstorming and fundraising. Pursuit’s Land to Hand partnership involves tasks that combine efforts of the brain, body and heart. These seemingly small tasks involve acts of pure selflessness resulting in immediate positive results. Lana Walker, Glacier Park Collection operations support specialist, says, “Focusing on the needs of our youth is so rewarding. It’s an entirely altruistic cause, and it’s an opportunity to invest directly in the future of our community.”

A group of children walk through a forest.

Meeting the Existing Needs of our Youth

Team members routinely stuff backpacks for the Weekend Backpack Program which distributes meals to children from families who qualify for meal assistance in the Columbia Falls school district. While the task is relatively small, its reach is huge. “There is a high concentration of food insecurity in our community,” says Walker. “And although we wish it didn’t exist, we’re glad to be helping in an impactful way.”

She goes on to describe how working directly with youth programs is extremely rewarding. “Some of the barriers that exist around adult assistance programs, like shame and addiction, are nonexistent when addressing the needs of children. Every person who volunteers is whole-heartedly enthusiastic and knows that even one small act makes a lasting impact.”

Land to Hand offers a multitude of other programs such as a high school food pantry, the Farm to School Program and the annual Free the Seeds event. Each program aims to meet existing needs and improve the local food system's future.

A family stands at a viewpoint looking out at a lake.

Strengthening the Community and Strengthening Place

It’s an unfortunate fact that a hungry child cannot learn, and that can be a barrier to kids reaching their full potential. Addressing food insecurity is a fundamental aim for both Land to Hand and Pursuit with the common goal of strengthening the community at its foundation. Walker is in awe of Land to Hand and all they do for the community. She says, “We are as complex as any other community anywhere, and there are many layers of needs. Nourishing our youth offers immediate results and plants the seeds for a brighter future.”

We are building a team of passionate people determined to make a difference in the places we love. Every effort counts. Meet more of them here and discover how Promise to Place is the real deal.
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