Community Partners Spanning over 400 miles between our two furthest service sites, ten local organizations provide the on-the-ground support, resources, and mentorship so that FoodCorps members can thrive.

21st Century Learning Program & Boulder Elementary School
Boulder, MT

Boulder Elementary School is a K-8 school with 78% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. In this rural town of less than 2000, FoodCorps partners with local leaders and organizations to find creative solutions to a lack of access to healthy, fresh foods available for school meals. Examples include coordinating pick-up points with producers in Helena (30 miles away), working with Sysco (a national food distributor) to provide Montana products whenever available, incorporating school garden produce into the menu, and even experimenting with year-round production in a new greenhouse.The school gardens and a network of donated backyard gardens also serve as a popular outdoor classroom for students and parents alike in the after-school and summer programs provided by 21st Century Learning.Our three years working with the 184 students at Boulder Elementary and with dozens of high school culinary students has had a lasting impact on students’ willingness to eat fruits and vegetables.

FoodCorps Member: Mary Rochelle,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Rochelle Hesford,

Ronan School District #30
Ronan, MT

After successfully partnering with Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan for three years, this year we’re shifting our FoodCorps site to the Ronan School District on the Flathead Indian Reservation where the service member will have even more direct impact on students’ connection to healthy, local food.

FoodCorps Member: Laura Arvidson,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Carey Swanberg, carey.swanberg@ronan.k12.ed

Kalispell District 5’s Farm to School Program and Center for Restorative Youth Justice
Kalispell, MT

With a district-wide free and reduced lunch rate of 42% and with 61% of the Flathead Valley population being overweight or obese, the need for FoodCorps programming here is imperative. Guided directly by Kalispell’s central kitchen, FoodCorps here works with 5 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 2 high schools, and 1 county school (Smith Valley).

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is a highlight of the Farm to School efforts here, due in part to the appropriate funding allocated from the federal government. As well, the fact that the snacks happen in classrooms makes it a perfect opportunity to integrate food and education, by accompanying each of the healthy, local foods with “snack facts” that go out to 2200 elementary students each week. As one of the original FoodCorps partners, Kalispell Schools inaugurated a new school kitchen in 2014 and are leading the way in pioneering healthy recipes made with local ingredients. This year our Kalispell FoodCorps member worked to get healthy, local food in the summer feeding program.

In partnership with the Center for Restorative Youth Justice (CRYJ), the FoodCorps service member will collaborate with new volunteers and community members to engage youth participants in the growing, harvesting, and preparing of food from garden sites.

FoodCorps Member: Whitney Pratt,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Jennifer Montague,

Polson School District #23
Polson, MT

Formerly a combined service site with Ronan Public Schools, the Polson School District now has their own FoodCorps service member dedicated to continuing with classroom educational programs. Upcoming projects include continuing the pattern line of Common Core structured teaching in regards to math, science, and environmental issues; tending school gardens with teachers, students, and garden club; and increasing local procurement via the Harvest of the Month and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program.

FoodCorps Member: Lexie Gallegos,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: JB Capdeville,

National Center for Appropriate Technology and
Butte Public School District
Butte, MT

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) was created in 1976 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to help people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. NCAT is headquartered in Butte, a town in southwestern Montana located along the continental divide.

The FoodCorps service member’s main projects include expanding two school gardens, helping create a school garden at West Elementary School, working with the school foodservice director to increase local food procurement, and creating nutrition education activities for the 7th and 8th grade Food Clubs as well as classes at two elementary schools. The district is also partnering with the Boulder School District on a Farm to School project funded by the USDA.

Butte School District has made leaps and bounds connecting students to healthier food. School food services adopted a Harvest of Month program and established a Farm to School Committee that meets monthly to work toward improving the school food environment and conducting related educational activities.

FoodCorps Member: Kelsie Larson,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Katie Halloran,

Browning Public Schools
Browning, MT

Located on the Blackfeet Reservation, Browning Public Schools (BPS) is partnering with FoodCorps this year to address issues of childhood hunger and food insecurity. At BPS, 89% of students are eligible for free or reduced priced lunches (73% are eligible for free lunches), while almost 50% of elementary students in BPS are either overweight or obese; a symptom closely associated with food insecurity. Our FoodCorps service member will address these issues by working with community members to develop a community garden on school property and by partnering with teachers to offer lessons about healthy eating, culturally-appropriate foods, and food justice.
In addition, the FoodCorps member will work with Project Choices, Blackfeet Academy and Browning High School for service projects or other garden maintenance

FoodCorps Member: Annie Mombourquette,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Lynne Keane,

Hyalite Elementary School and Gallatin Valley Farm to School
Bozeman, MT

Situated in the Gallatin Valley and in close proximity to six stunning mountain ranges, it’s no surprise that Hyalite Elementary emphasizes outdoor education and a close relationship with nature through a rigorous “no child left inside,” initiative. With 46% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, it also makes sense that the school garden is a hub for both hands-on learning, as well as education about healthy and affordable eating. The FoodCorps member works with elementary students in almost every grade level to incorporate classroom objectives into garden-based learning opportunities.

This year Hyalite will unveil its new, state-of-the-art greenhouse whose construction was aided by our FoodCorps member. Since partnering with us for two years, Hyalite’s school garden has also blossomed along with a healthy cooking initiative to benefit the school’s “Legacy Project.”

FoodCorps Member: Meghan Montgomery,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Mike Van Vuren,

The Food Partnership Council
Red Lodge, MT

A community of 2,500 nestled beneath the Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge faces a short growing season and a significant distance from a major city. As well, 38% of Red Lodge students qualify for free and reduced lunch. However, with burgeoning Farm to School efforts, cooking classes with after-school programs, and a brand-new Youth Garden, Red Lodge is proving that local food is possible, even at 5,500 feet! The FoodCorps service member placed with the Food Partnership Council serves the Red Lodge Public School District and partner organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and Beartooth Children’s Center. The small community of Red Lodge has come together along with our FoodCorps member to actively expand the school garden and improve school food. This year new activities include expanding the local purchase capacity of the school district and building school capacity for a Wellness Coordinator position.

FoodCorps Member: Beth Williams,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Martha Brown,

Missoula County Public Schools and Garden City Harvest
Missoula, MT

Missoula County Public Schools Food Service is one of the largest school food service operations in Montana, serving 6,000 meals daily. MCPS Food Service is committed to serving Missoula kids of all income levels healthy, and whenever possible, local meals to fuel their education. Garden City Harvest is a non-profit organization dedicated to building community through agriculture by growing produce with and for people with low incomes. Garden City Harvest has built a farm-to-school program in Missoula with 6 school gardens (more to come) and educational experiences for thousands of students each year. MCPS is entering its third year partnering with our FoodCorps program. In addition to providing nutrition and garden-based education to over a thousand students, we’ve helped make significant changes in the schools’ menus, thereby helping 8,700 students access nutritious meals.

FoodCorps Member: Amy Harvey,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Ed Christensen,

Hardin School District
Hardin, MT

New for the 2015-2016 year, FoodCorps Montana welcomes Hardin School District to the service site family. The FoodCorps service member will be engaged primarily in nutrition education by offering students the opportunity to learn about healthy food they are not presently aware of. Potential projects for the year include a school pantry for the high school, a backpack program for the elementary schools, and reaching out to community farms and ranches to expand local procurement.

FoodCorps Member: Elle Ross,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Patrice Benjamin,

North Shore Compact: Somers, Bigfork and Cayuse Prairie Schools
Lake County, MT

The North Shore Compact is comprised of three school districts and four elementary and middle schools: Somers/Lakeside, Bigfork, and Cayuse Prairie. Spread over about thirty miles, the schools are each part of small, close-knit communities in the gorgeous Flathead Valley. Towns with substantial summer populations, Somers and Bigfork are quiet in the winter, and both schools have gardens on the property (Somers even has a hydroponic greenhouse for winter growing). Cayuse Prairie is a rural K-8 school located East of Kalispell made up of hard working individuals who care about their school and the people in it.

FoodCorps Member: Maddy Halverson,
FoodCorps Site Supervisor: Robin Vogler,

Blog Archives


NCAT's Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives is nurturing the youth food revolution in Montana. Click here for inspiring videos about building healthy, accessible food systems.

Check out "Local Farms, Local Kids" a short documentary video about farm to school and its positive economic effects in western Montana produced by Lake County Community Development Corporation and Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center.

FoodCorps Montana Report!

Interested in learning how FoodCorps Montana has been creating a healthy food environment for schoolkids across Montana? Read the 2013 FoodCorps Montana Evaluation Report to get the dirt on what has made FoodCorps Montana such a hit in communities across the state.

Check out this beautiful video about getting MT beef into MT school lunchrooms made by former FoodCorps fellow Lea Howe. Learn more about beef to schools and other farm to cafeteria programs at

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Mallory Stefan
FoodCorps Montana Fellow
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