Montana Cook Fresh Attendees

Montana Cook Fresh Leadership Institute 2020

July 27-31 | Bozeman, MT

Inside this issue

Want to enhance your school nutrition management and culinary skills? This week-long management and culinary class is designed for attendees to meet the following goals: Sharpen your knowledge and skills on a variety of management topics from procurement through service; enhance food production and culinary skills; learn to incorporate more from scratch meals using USDA Foods, fresh, and local foods; increase your understanding of merchandising, behavioral cues, farm to school, and school wellness policy.

Food service directors, managers, and head cooks are invited to join. Preference is given to schools participating in the 2020 Montana Cook Fresh Quality School Meals Initiative.

This same workshop was offered in the summers of 2018 and 2019. The cost for the class is $250.00/person. Registration includes: Training materials, chef uniform, 4 lunch meals, 5 daily parking passes. Free lodging at MSU dormitory is optional for attendees. Register early as                                                                                    space is limited.

Learn more and register

For questions, contact Katie Bark at [email protected] or (406) 994-5641. 

Montana School Wellness Assessment Report Survey

Is it time to refresh your school wellness policy?

Whole Child CDC Model

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child - CDC Model

The Montana School Wellness Assessment Report Survey is an online tool which:

  • evaluates your current school wellness policy
  • generates a report that can be shared with key stakeholders, the public and the Office of Public Instruction
  • helps your team identify school wellness goals

Completing this report will help you meet the USDA school wellness policy requirements (including the three year assessment). Visit School Wellness Policy Assessment Tool to find and complete the survey.

Resources to create a strong district wellness policy:


School Wellness Regional Workshop!

Postponed - to be held virtually this year

Join us for this FREE webinar to learn how a local school wellness policy can fuel students to learn and behave better and support staff in creating healthy school environments.

Learn more 

Montana Team Nutrition Program

More information available at

Montana Team Nutrition Program is at Montana State University and works incooperation with the Montana Office of Public Instruction. The USDA is an equalopportunity provider. 

OPI Teacher Learning Hub: Local School Wellness Policy

Are you interested in learning more about the requirements surrounding a school wellness policy?

Now available through the Teacher Learning Hub - Local School Wellness Policy. The Office of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Programs designed a course to help participants better understand federal wellness regulations and approach school wellness more effectively. Offering a concentrated source of helpful resources, this course will aid districts in meeting requirements. The material can be covered in one hour, and provides one hour of continuing education credit.

Visit the Teacher Learning Hub and search "Local School Wellness Policy" to enroll.

MTN Logo  OPI Logo  OPI Hope



Montana Farm to School Summit Digging Deeper

Montana Farm to School Summit 

September 23-24, 2020 | Helena, MT

Learn and share how schools and programs are practicing farm to school initiatives across Montana. Dig deeper into the core elements of farm to school, which includes serving local foods, school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, experiential learning, and networking opportunities will provide inspiration, ideas, and resources for all people interested in farm to school. Mark your calendar for the 2020 Montana Farm to School Summit: Digging Deeper, to be held onSeptember 23-24at the Best Western Great Northern in Helena. Registration will open soon!

All individuals interested in farm to school programs are encouraged to attend.


Learn more and register

For questions, contact Aubree Roth,Montana Farm to School Coordinator at [email protected]or (406) 994-5996.

Montana Farm to School Logo

Build the Rainbow SaladBar Checklist

Vegetable Rainbow

Is your school wellness team looking to improve your salad bar? Look no further than the Build the Rainbow Salad Bar Checklist.

This school wellness tool uses five proven strategies to get kids excited about their lunchroom salad bar. Enhancing your salad bar using the checklist is an easy way to encourage kids to make healthy choices and reduce food waste in the lunchroom.

Tips for creating a smarter salad bar:

  • Use appealing signage that promotes menu variety
  • The salad bar offers at least four different colors of vegetables
  • Allow students to take whole, fresh fruit, out of the lunchroom for an afternoon snack
  • Limit food waste by using child-sized serving utensils 
  • Engage students in growing garden items to include in the salad bar

Learn More and download

the Rainbow Salad Bar Checklist.

For questions, contact Molly Stenberg,

at [email protected]or (406) 994-7217.

Are you ready to spring into farm to school?

Explore successful examples and discover resources at the Montana Farm to School Regional Showcase in Hardin on May 6. 

Learn more and register


Printable PDF version of the Montana School Wellness in Action Newsletter Spring 2020 Issue!