Montana students participating in Crunch Time on October 24, 2013.

As the clock struck two on October 24, a collective crunch brought the state of Montana together to celebrate Food Day and National Farm to School Month. Biting into crisp Montana-grown apples, school kids across the state got yet another opportunity to taste healthy food grown close to home thanks to “Crunch Time.”  The statewide event was the vision of many amazing organizations including the Montana Office of Public Instruction, Montana Team Nutrition, Eat Right Montana, and two of NCAT’s Montana food programs – Farm to Cafeteria Network and FoodCorps Montana.

Out of sheer luck, during “Crunch Time,” I had the privilege to actually be in Montana’s historic capitol building in Helena presenting to the governor-appointed Montana Commission on Community Service. Created in 1993 to promote and expand national service and volunteer opportunities in Montana, the Governor’s Office of Community Service has been a key partner in the success of FoodCorps Montana. And the commissioners were more than happy for yet another opportunity to support good, local food for school kids across the state. We paused the agenda and passed out apples. As we counted down for our moment, I thought of how lucky we are to have so many leaders working together for a healthier future for Montana children. Our simultaneous “crrrunch” resonated high into the ceilings of the state capitol.

By Kirsten Gerbatsch, FoodCorps Montana Fellow