Food Box Packing

Thousands of Fresh Produce Boxes to be Distributed in the Mission Valley and Western Montana

Western Montana Growers Cooperative and Lake County Community Development Corporation have partnered to distribute Farmers to Families Food Boxes full of fresh, Montana-grown produce to families in western Montana.

Western Montana Growers Cooperative was recently awarded a USDA Farmers to Families Food Box contract under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. With additional funding from the Headwaters Foundation, Montana Farmers Union, and the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program grant, this initiative will distribute 6200 boxes of mostly Montana-grown produce to families in need while supporting local farmers who lost markets due to closures of schools and restaurants. “The USDA Farmers to Families Program provides an excellent opportunity for local farmers to sell products that might otherwise go to waste and connects Montanans in need with fresh and nutritious produce right from the farm. We are thankful to have the opportunity to participate,” said Dave Prather, General Manager at Western Montana Growers Cooperative.

Western Montana Growers Cooperative will source and deliver the produce to Lake County Community Development’s Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, a USDA and FDA-inspected food processing facility, where the produce will be packed into family-sized boxes. The boxes will then be distributed to families by food pantries and other community organizations. A typical box will include approximately 10 pounds of fresh, local produce such as kale, salad mix, beets, cabbage, and carrots. The project will run from mid-July to mid-November.

“This is another example of excellent collaboration between the Western Montana Growers Cooperative and the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center as we work together to increase access to local food by connecting our local producers and community during this pandemic,” said Jan Tusick, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center Director.

Multiple organizations are assisting with the distribution of the food boxes, including the Montana Food Bank Network, Salish Kootenai College Community Health and Development Department, Polson Loaves and Fish Pantry, Ronan Bread Basket, Arlee Community Development Corporation, Mission Valley Food Pantry, and Flathead Reservation Community Action.

Western Montana Growers Cooperative provides wholesale marketing and delivery for their 40 member farms and aims to provide the region with high-quality and local food products. As a part of the Lake County Community Development Corporation, a regional economic development 501(c)(3), the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center is a community-based USDA and FDA-inspected food processing facility that provides client services to value added agriculture and specialty food businesses.

May 2024
June 2024
No event found!