The Montana Harvest of the Month program (HOM) is continuing to grow and change and we want YOU to be aware.

The Montana Harvest of the Month (HOM) program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools, institutions and communities. Each month, participating programs focus on promoting one locally grown item (e.g., winter squash) by serving it in at least one meal, snack, or a la carte item and displaying and distributing HOM materials. Additionally, schools participate by offering taste tests to students and conducting educational activities. Montana Harvest of the Month is a perfect way to launch or grow a farm to school or farm to cafeteria program as it provides an easy framework to follow and ready-to use materials. Participating sites will receive a free packet of materials (may include posters, table tents, recipe cards, and cafeteria, classroom, and home handouts) as well as guides, additional resources, and training.

For a general guide to the Montana Harvest of the Month Program and getting started, please visit this link to download “HOM 101”

A Brief History
Over the past year, we have been piloting HOM in a handful of healthcare institutions and pre-schools (also called Early Care and Education or ECE) with incredible results! These pilot sites increased local food purchasing, built strong teams to support their program, and provided meaningful education to people 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. Currently, we are expanding to still more food service environments with a pilot that includes grocery stores, restaurants, and food pantries.

What You Need to Know
Montana Early Care and Education Programs and Healthcare Institutions across the state can now register for the Montana Harvest of the Month program which launches August 2018! We will also be continuing the school based programming. For the coming year, we have a NEW 2018-2019 calendar.

For more information or to register your ECE program or Healthcare Institution visit http://www.montana.edu/mtharvestofthemonth/register.html or contact Demetrius Fassas, Montana Local Foods Program Specialist, NCAT at demetriusf@ncat.org or (406) 494-8672.