Improving School Nutrition While Promoting Locally Grown Food
Over 115,000 students in districts across the state are benefiting from improved nutritional programs and activities as a result of additional training and technical assistance.


Teacher and farmer teaching elementary students about agriculture at farm

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MDPHHS) works with partners to train school staff on nutrition and wellness policy implementation and to enhance Harvest of the Months (HOM)External and Farm to SchoolExternal programs designed to expose students to new, healthy foods and support Montana’s farmers and ranchers.

MDPHHS and partners customize training and guidance to each school based on priority data findings of a Montana Team Nutrition School Wellness Implementation Report.


A total of 127 K–12 schools registered as HOM sites to promote one locally grown food each month by featuring it in meals and student taste tests. They also conduct education and activities on nutritional and agricultural aspects of the food.

In response to the project, some schools have revised their wellness policies, strengthened non-food reward systems, launched campaigns to improve healthy food offerings and communications, promoted daily physical activity before and during the school day, and fostered student leadership to advise on the availability and marketing of healthy foods at school.

The project involved 11 school districts with about 14,000 students. Additional trainings conducted across the state potentially reached 115,200 students.

This program was supported by CDC’s State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement (DP13-1305).