FoodCorps Montana kicked off the 2018-2019 service term with the annual FoodCorps National Orientation in Portland, Oregon, in August. FoodCorps welcomes service members from across the country with a six-day intensive training that introduces our FoodCorps service members to the three areas of service: delivering hands-on learning, supporting healthy school meals, and cultivating a schoolwide culture of health. Elayna Shapiro, a first-year service member in Polson, describes National Orientation: “At times it felt overwhelming, but I really enjoyed learning about how to be a successful service member.”

In Montana, we have six service members that are serving in the following sites: Hardin School District, Farm to School of Park County, NCAT and the Butte School District, Anaconda School District, Polson School District, and Columbia Falls Schools. With three returning service members and three new service members, we have a wonderfully diverse group that is eager and excited to dive into the new year.

To fully prepare our service members for their upcoming year, service members also attend State Orientation, a four-day training that includes volunteering at a 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance Project and the Montana Farm to School Summit. Once we return from State Orientation, our service members will be fully prepared to enter the classroom and begin teaching hands-on nutrition and garden lessons.