2015 Report Card
Check out what we’ve been up to over the past year, and see how you can get involved!
NCAT’s Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative fosters robust regionally-based food systems and healthy living in Montana communities. Through educational activities, research and advocacy, and strong public and private partnerships, we seek to create lasting improvements in the way Montanans grow, buy, and eat food.
The Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is the concerted effort of three interconnected NCAT projects FoodCorps Montana, Farm to Cafeteria Network, and Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition. Together, our goals are to:
- Increase understanding of the importance of healthy, local food through statewide education and outreach;
- Improve access to healthy, local food for all Montanans by connecting food producers and distributors with local food markets, especially institutions;
- Create opportunities and eliminate barriers for food producers with the goal of strengthening Montana’s regionally-based food systems.
The Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is based on the belief that robust, regionally-based food systems are the foundation for growing healthy, resilient communities in our state. A program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative has its roots in the Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition which formed in 2005 to promote community economic development policies that support sustainable, Montana-owned food production, processing, and distribution. The coalition conducted research and pilot projects that led to the creation of FoodCorps Montana in 2007 and Farm to Cafeteria Network in 2009.
Today, these three NCAT projects work together to promote farm to institution programs and regionally-based food systems in Montana. We do this by providing educational resources and programming, research and policy information, and network-building opportunities that promote the health and economic well-being of all stakeholders in the local food system, from schoolchildren to farmers and ranchers.
We envision a Montana in which healthy, local food is the norm and is accessible to all Montanans; we envision Montana communities that embrace healthy lifestyles and active participation in
regionally-based food systems; and we envision a thriving, diversified agricultural sector that prioritizes land stewardship and serving local markets.