October is a time for embracing the change in seasons: leaves turn colors, temperatures start to drop, and days become shorter. But October is much more than pumpkin-spice-everything – it’s also National Farm to School Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the connections between children and local food!
National Farm to School Month offers an opportunity for farm to school champions to celebrate as they see fit – no event is too small or too large! Across Montana, service members exercised their creative event planning skills, hosting activities ranging from taste tests of local food to doling out kale chips for National Kale Day.
In Missoula, Service Member Amy Harvey collaborated with Garden City Harvest to invite parents to eat a locally grown lunch with their student. Missoula County Public Schools also featured local kale on the menu for National Kale Day using the cafeteria’s “world famous” recipe.
Butte Service Member Kelsie Larson held a “Lunch with the Bulldogs” – Butte High School volleyball players ate a delicious lunch featuring kale salad with Whittier Elementary School students. According to Kelsie, “the volleyball players did an excellent job interacting with the kids.” As an added bonus, “the students remembered the kale salad” from a previous classroom lesson Kelsie taught. Tasty kale leaves quite the impression!
The highlight of the month was OPI Team Nutrition’s Montana Crunch Time, a statewide event celebrating farm to school by biting into locally and regionally grown apples. Thousands of students participated in Crunch Time on October 26th, including Elle Ross’s service site in Hardin. Elle’s high school students made such an impact that they joked, “the earthquake drill the week before was to get everyone ready for the crunch!”
From Browning to Boulder, service members successfully celebrated National Farm to School Month with local food for students!