Montana-grown Lentils and the Kalispell, Montana Public Schools Case Study
Located in rural northwestern Montana, the Kalispell Public School District has about 6,000 students, about 3,500 of which are served lunch daily.1 The district places a strong emphasis on providing locally grown products, and its Farm to School program now involves 12 to 15 local producers. Lunch menus include more than a dozen varieties of local fruits and vegetables, as well as local whole grains, meat and dairy products. The Kalispell district prioritizes growers from very nearby areas whenever possible, followed by those located within the state and region.
Farm to School efforts are aided by the Montana Team Nutrition Program, a state arm of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,2 which provides technical training and other support to school nutrition services developing Farm to School programs.3 The program is located at Montana State University and facilitated by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.