Farm to Healthcare

While great effort has gone into getting healthy and local food into our schools, hospitals and healthcare facilities are also working to provide patients and staff with the best food possible while looking out for the environment, cutting costs, and reducing waste.

We are putting on a Farm to Healthcare conference in partnership with Livingston HealthCare called Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities on November 7, 2014. Join hospital dieticians, foodservice managers, assisted living directors, and local farmers and ranchers from around Montana to discuss the challenges and opportunities of bringing local, fresh, healthy foods into healthcare facilities for the benefit of patients, staff and communities. The day will begin at the Shane Lalani Center for the Performing Arts in Livingston, MT.


Please register here if you are interested in attending. The cost is $35.00 and includes lunch. Please see the following agenda to review speakers and topics. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to seeing you there!

Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Agenda
Arrive and check-in

Welcome and Keynote: Sustainable Hospital Food Service: Restoring Health and Prosperity to Rural Montana
Jessica Wilcox MS, RD, LN: Food and Nutrition Services Manager, Livingston Healthcare
Dr. Alison Harmon: Associate Professor, Foods and Nutrition; Sustainable Food Systems

Buyers’ Panel: Incorporating Healthy, Local Food in Healthcare
Seth Bostick: Executive Chef, Kalispell Regional Medical Center
Emily McKey RD, LD: Dietician, Village Health Care
Wendy Barrett: Certified Dietary Manager, Village Health Care

Producers’ Panel: Partnering with Hospitals to Diversify your Market
Shay Farmer: Food and Ag Coordinator, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center
Dave Prather: General Manager, Western Montana Growers Cooperative
Jenny Scott: CEO, Montana Highland Lamb



Park County Food System Council Panel and discussion

Tour and presentation of the Livingston Food Resource Center and Community Kitchen hosted by Michael McCormick, Executive Director of the Livingston Food Pantry

Tour and presentation of the Livingston HealthCare Kitchen hosted by Jessica Wilcox, Food and Nutrition Services Manager

Adjourn and depart from Livingston HealthCare

Check out these websites for more information about nationwide Farm to Hospital efforts:
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative
Farm to Hospital resources from Food Hub

NCAT Helps MT Youth Celebrate & Educate About Local Food

Hellgate Local Harvesters, Hellgate Project Manager Lee Brown, NCAT's Jeremy Drake, and FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey

Hellgate Local Harvesters (from l to r) Francie, Helen, Claudia, Sarah, Carolyn, Alice, and Annie with Hellgate faculty member and the team’s Local Harvest Grant Project Manager Lee Brown, NCAT’s Jeremy Drake, and FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey

Congratulations Local Harvesters Claudia Wiese, Helen Hartley, Sarah Brown, Carolyn Graham, Annie Little Broberg, and Francie Lorenzen for hosting the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party on Wednesday, October 8 in Missoula in celebration of National Farm to School Month. Check out the front page feature in The Missoulian.

Well over 100 students munched on chips and local salsa made in part from ingredients grown by the S.A.V.E. club members in Hellgate’s rooftop garden. They were joined by Hellgate principal Lisa Hendrix, faculty, staff, parents, and community members including MCPS K-12 Trustee Diane Lorenzen. Party goers had the opportunity to hear from the Local Harvest youth planning committee about their experience preparing for the event, learn about local food from FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey, play Local Food Bingo with prizes from local businesses, and plant their own garlic clove (grown by Local Harvester Sarah and her sister Alice) in a biodegradable repurposed newspaper pot in soil donated by Garden City Harvest.

Serving up local salsa

Serving up local salsa

Everyone at the Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is thrilled to have helped make this event happen through the Growing Leaders Local Harvest Event Grant, which provided funding, training, and support. The Rooftop Salsa Party was the second of two Local Harvest events to take place in fall of 2014 as part of this new Growing Leaders youth initiative. Click here to read about the first event, Flathead High School’s grand opening of the Growing a Better World garden.

Local Food Bingo at the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party

Local Food Bingo at the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party

And a big shout out to Hellgate High School teacher Lee Brown for providing guidance and support for these youth throughout veggie growing and event planning. His efforts are building the soil in which these young leaders are growing!

Check out the front page feature in The Missoulian.