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How Root Cellar Foods Bridges the Gap Between Farm and School May 4, 2018

I had the opportunity to visit local Bozeman public school Monforton last week and witness first-hand that kids will choose fresh veggies and enjoy them if they taste good. Seems simple right? When I was in elementary school (1990s), I remember vegetables being nonexistent and the only fruit I can recall were mealy, tasteless red delicious apples or a syrupy filled “fruit cup.” Though there is still a long way to go, it is inspiring to see local vegetables be integrated into school meals and for this to be some of the first experiences that children have with them. These are formative years and if done right, can create a lifetime of healthy habits.

Erin Turner, Food Service Director at Monforton School has been integral in the process of the inclusion of local food into the meals here. Monforton also has a staff Wellness Committee and participates regularly in the Harvest of the Month program created by MSU and Gallatin Valley Farm to School. Erin relayed to me that money and labor are biggest issue facing the integration of local food into school meals, which she explained, is where Root Cellar bridges this gap. Root Cellar offers discounts to schools because we believe in helping to bring local food into schools as much as we can assist in this venture. By processing carrots, beets, and butternut squash for example, we took the labor step out for Monforton this school year. Finally, Erin credits our weekly newsletter with current up to date availability of product and the fact that we deliver right to the school. We are thrilled to be a part of this process and hope to continue to see local food in public schools all over the Gallatin Valley. If you are a parent, or a teacher and want to learn more, please contact us.

Erin McCarthy

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