HELENA, Mont. — After more than two years in development, Montana school and afterschool programs can now register for the Montana Harvest of the Month program which will encourage students to learn about where their food comes from, and how to choose nutritious foods.
The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana-grown foods in our schools and communities. This program is a collaboration among the Office of Public Instruction, Montana Team Nutrition Program, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Montana State University Extension, Gallatin Valley Farm to School, and FoodCorps Montana.
Each month, the participating schools focus on promoting one locally-grown item by serving it in a meal, offering taste-tests to students, and presenting educational lessons and activities surrounding the nutritional and agricultural aspects of the food.
The two primary goals for this program are to expose students to new, healthy foods and to support Montana’s farmers and ranchers. Montana Harvest of the Month is a perfect way to launch or grow a farm to school program as it provides an easy framework to follow and ready-to-use materials.
Over the past year, schools across Montana have tested the program with incredible results. These schools increased local food purchasing, built strong teams to support the program, and provided meaningful education to students that helps them make healthier choices. They also served foods which were new to the cafeteria such as winter squash, beets, and lentils while trying new recipes for favorites like beef and apples.
The following schools have already signed up to join Harvest of the Month:
- Gardiner School District, Gardiner
- Cayuse Prairie, Kalispell
- Broadwater Elementary SACC (Afterschool Program), Helena
- LaMotte Afterschool Club, Bozeman
- Hobson School District, Hobson
- Hardin High School, Hardin
- Hardin Middle School, Hardin
- Bigfork School District, Bigfork
- K William Harvey Elementary, Ronan
- Pablo Elementary, Ronan
Participating schools will receive a full packet of materials at no charge as well as guides, additional resources, and training. For more information or to register your school or afterschool program visit www.montana.edu/mtharvestofthemonth.
Food producers want to learn how to be involved? Watch the Harvest of the Month for Producers Training Video here.
If you have questions contact Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 994-5996.
Source: Office of Public Instruction