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MT Food for Montana Schools events connect producers, schools

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From MSU News Service

BOZEMAN — A pair of events this fall will help incorporate local food into Montana students’ meals by connecting producers with schools.

The events, called Montana Food for Montana Schools, will be held Sept. 28 in Great Falls at the University of Providence and on Oct. 25 in Missoula at the Hilton Garden Inn, both from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  

Montana State University’s Montana Team Nutrition program, the Montana Office of Public Instruction, Abundant Montana and other partners will host the two regional events. Montana producers, food businesses and school representatives are invited to attend. 

“Serving local foods in schools is a win for producers, as it provides a financial opportunity; a win for students, as they are served nutritious and high-quality foods; and a win for the community as lasting connections are built,” said Haley Scott, program lead at Montana Team Nutrition.  

Each event will feature a farm-to-school training focused on local food procurement for school nutrition professionals and food producers, followed by a vendor show where producers and food businesses will be able to connect with school nutrition professionals.   

“As part of our commitment to building a more resilient and reliable Montana food system, we’re thrilled to help foster connections among local producers and schools,” said Erin Austin, director of community partners and sales at Abundant Montana. “Getting healthy foods to K-12 students across Montana is exciting and important work for Montana’s food security.” 

“Montana has a long tradition of supporting its farmers and ranchers,” said Elsie Arntzen, superintendent of the Montana Office of Public Instruction. “This is another great opportunity for Montana students to learn more about the rich agricultural heritage of our state. I encourage all of our schools to participate in the Montana-made program.” 

The first Montana Foods for Montana Schools event was held in March in Hardin. This project is funded in part by a 2022 USDA Team Nutrition grant.  

For more information and to register for one of the upcoming events, visit:  

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