One of the biggest challenges schools face in sourcing local food is the amount of time and energy it requires. Locating products, coordinating orders and deliveries, integrating information about those local healthy foods into school curricula—it all takes time.
2012-2013 FoodCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members tour the Kalispell kitchen and cafeteria in September.
Still, where there’s a will there’s a way and in several Montana schools, FoodCorps has helped provide the will and the way. Launched in 2006 by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), FoodCorps began by dispatching AmeriCorps members to Montana communities to help schools buy local food. Since then, the Montana program has grown and served as a model for a National FoodCorps Program that took root in 2009.
This year, service members in ten Montana communities join a national team of eighty FoodCorps members in twelve states! They work hard to help k-12 schools serve local, healthy foods, build school gardens, and educate kids about how and why to eat food grown closer to home.
But don’t take it from me. Take it from Montana students taught by FoodCorps members who say things like, “Can we take a chicken egg back on the bus?” and “I ate a superfood last night!” These kids are getting excited about good food, and that excitement is spreading.