Seems like all the good food stories I find start with an amazingly dedicated person. Someone who decides to work on making things better, often as a volunteer. Someone with unusual passion and skill. The story I want to leave you with today probably started that way too, but I don’t know that for certain. What I do know is that three years into it, Grow Montana’s Food Corps has helped schools and colleges in Montana buy more local and Montana-grown food. They are helping revitalize the Montana food economy. And they provide an inspiration for what can be done at the state level.
The FoodCorps, staffed with 5 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, works with Montana farmers, ranchers, students, parents, teachers, and activists to change how children are fed at school. They develop farm-to-school programs in Montana schools and colleges. They organize farm tours, and plan and publicize events to promote locally grown foods. They are working to create long-term change, so projects are meant to be self-sustaining.
Over this last school year, Grow Montana estimates that over $1 million dollars was returned to the Montana agricultural economy due to FoodCorps projects. The project is continuing, and Grow Montana is hiring five new VISTA staff for the 2008-2009 year. If you are looking for some inspiration, or a great way to spend a year, take a look at this project!
Finally, the goodbye: I am signing off Eat.Drink.Better, and this is my last post. It has been a fun and educational experiment. I’ve decided I don’t have the time and energy to do all the other writing I want to do and be a blogger. Starting in July, I will be posting occasionally on the Huffington Post Green site. I hope you’ll look for me there. Happy summer, and Eat Well!