Tuesday, April 9, during the noon hour, four Hamilton School student teams, along with a Ravalli County Commissioner and Hamilton's Mayor, prepared hot meals for judging. The rule - the total ingredients of each meal could not total over $10. The meals ranged from oriental rice dishes to stuffed bell peppers. The winners won a small cash award and the losers won chocolate.

It was part of a nationwide observance of "Childhood Hunger Week," and HHS freshman Sydney DeLong worked with state organizers to put together the contest. The meals were prepared just before noon in school kitchen facilities and served to three judges - teachers Ryan Wells, Tamsen Mitchell and Principal Dan Kimsey. Kimsey said all the meals were good - making the final decision tough. Also helping out with the meal prep were Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf and County Commissioner Jeff Burrows, both of whom congratulated the students and Sydney for putting together a great exhibition of what can be done with a limited food budget.

Some of the cooks and their meals - waiting to be judged in the HHS Commons. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)