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Montana Crunch Time Set For Oct. 10

Individuals across Montana are invited to participate in Montana Crunch Time, a celebration of local food and National Farm to School Month.

Montana Crunch Time is a statewide event encouraging participants to “crunch” — or bite — into locally grown and raised food. The program is designed to encourage healthy eating habits and support local food-based initiatives throughout the state, according to Haley Scott, program lead with Montana Team Nutrition, which is based at Montana State University. It is also intended to help participants learn about healthy food and nutrition choices. All Montanans are encouraged to participate.

This year Montana will compete against Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming for the Mountain Plains Crunch Off Champion’s Banner, which is awarded to the state that records the most crunches per capita. Crunches can be registered online throughout October.

“Though participants can register their crunches throughout the month, it is encouraged to crunch on Oct. 10 to create a big crunch heard ‘round the region,” Scott said.

Schools, workplaces and other groups can organize crunch events, or individuals can crunch on their own throughout the month.

Last year 12,531 Montanans joined the collective crunch, and in 2021 there were 30,958 crunches. The statewide goal is 30,000 crunches this year.

“We’re encouraging all Montanans to grab that Montana- made homegrown apple or veggie to crunch and celebrate local food and National Farm to School month,” said Elsie Arntzen, superintendent of the state’s Office of Public Instruction.

Started in 2013, this will be the 10th annual rendition of Montana Crunch Time, which, Scott pointed out, will take place on the 10th day of this year’s 10th month. It began as an event in schools but has expanded to include all Montanans.

The event is hosted by the Montana Farm to School leadership team, Montana Team Nutrition and the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

To register your crunch, download the crunch guide and access more resources, visit https://www.montana. edu/mtfarmtoschool/mtcrunch- time.html.

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