Who’s ready for the fair?

The Western Montana Fair returns to Missoula next week, and at 9 and 11 years old, my kids have high hopes that this year they will be big enough to ride all the rides. They’re already plotting a plan to spend an entire day at the fair riding all the rides, seeing all the exhibits and of course, eating all the food.

This morning I got an email concerning one food vendor in particular. I’m copying it below in its entirety so you too can include it in your fair planning:

BASKIN-ROBBINS AND A CAROUSEL FOR MISSOULA TEAM UP AT THE FAIR!

Continuing a tradition started in 2012, A Carousel for Missoula will be a food vendor at the Western Montana Fair.  From August 9-14, volunteers from the Carousel will join with staff from Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream to sell Baskin-Robbins ice cream scoops, milkshakes, Cappuccino Blasts, Root Beer Floats, Iced Lattes, Homemade Waffle Cones, Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches, and more.  The location of the new Baskin-Robbins trailer will be on the East end of the food concession midway.

A Carousel for Missoula and Missoula’s locally-owned Baskin-Robbins have been partners since before the Carousel’s inception in 1995, through birthday parties, donations, and sponsorships.  As always, Baskin-Robbins will donate a percentage of their sales at the Western Montana Fair to A Carousel for Missoula, in addition to their 17% contribution to the Western Montana Fair.

A Carousel for Missoula invites all carousel supporters and ice cream lovers to stop by the Carousel’s ice cream trailer at this year’s fair; Support a Carousel for Missoula by buying some of the world’s greatest ice cream!

ABOUT A CAROUSEL FOR MISSOULA

Built to provide the community of Missoula a new option for good, old-fashioned fun, the Carousel continues to entertain children (and adults) in Missoula with rides on the beautifully-crafted horses, as well as with family-friendly events.  Whether helping children celebrate their special day or seeing families come together for a little playtime, A Carousel for Missoula is happy to be a strong part of Missoula’s rich history.

ABOUT BASKIN-ROBBINS

Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 by two ice cream enthusiasts (and brothers-in-law) whose passion led to the creation of more than 1,200 ice cream flavors and a wide variety of delicious treats.  In Missoula, Baskin-Robbins has been owned by Big Sky High School and University of Montana graduate Matt Loomis, along with David and Beverly Loomis, since 2001.  Each year, thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours are given back to Missoula nonprofits.

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Three cheers for Missoula’s grocery stores!

My kids know they can score a free cookie at the bakery counter when we shop at Rosauers. At 8 and 11 years old now, they’re too big to fit in those car shopping carts anymore, but they still have fond memories of tooling around the aisles, spinning the steering wheel, munching cookies.

Now, prompted by a social media storm about a grocery store that gives out free fruit to kids 12 and younger, three Missoula grocery stores are doing the same, only instead of cookies they’re offering fruit. My kids love fruit of all kinds, so they’ll be thrilled.

But maybe not as thrilled as they are to get free cookies.

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$60k awarded to 16 schools for breakfast programs

This just in from Helena about nearly $60,000 in privately funded grants that will help fund breakfast programs for healthier, more-focused students:

Sixteen Montana schools are about to take a very important step for the health and future of their students and their communities – and it all starts with making sure that every day starts with a healthy breakfast.

Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock announced today that a total of $59,600 in privately funded grants have been awarded to 16 schools across Montana to assist them in starting new breakfast programs and expanding participation in existing programs. All of these schools have pledged to adopt innovative approaches to school breakfast, such as serving breakfast in the classroom or offering a “grab-and-go” style that appeals to teens on the go.  These grants will help make healthy school breakfast accessible to the 7,000 Montana students who attend these schools, more than 60 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

“Every Montana student should start the school day with a healthy breakfast that ensures they’re ready to learn. We are thrilled to see that so many Montana educators are recognizing the value of making breakfast a part of their school day, and that private businesses are stepping up to make this a reality for Montana students,” said Governor Bullock. “Breakfast at school is an important step we can take in our fight against childhood hunger.”

These schools are about to join more than 90 other Montana schools that make breakfast a part of the school day, whether they serve it in the classroom at the start of the day, or from a hallway kiosk between school periods. Participation in these innovative, accessible breakfast programs is more than twice as high, on average, than when breakfast is served before school in the cafeteria. Montana teachers are already seeing the difference in their students’ behavior, attendance and ability to pay attention during morning lessons.

These observations align with national studies that have found that school breakfast is associated with lower rates of tardiness, fewer referrals to the school nurse, and fewer disciplinary incidents. Research also shows that students who eat breakfast at school perform 17 percent better on math tests compared to those who eat at home or do not eat breakfast at all.

The 16 schools that were awarded grants in this grant round are:

  • Browning Middle School (Browning) – $3924
  • Browning High School (Browning) – $5000
  • Washington Middle Elementary (Miles City) – $2711
  • Longfellow Elementary (Great Falls) – $5000
  • Whittier Elementary (Great Falls) – $5000
  • Cornelius Hedges Elementary (Kalispell) – $5000
  • Elrod Elementary (Kalispell) – $2129
  • Lakeside Elementary (Somers) – $4998
  • Columbia Falls High School (Columbia Falls) – $1000
  • Troy Junior-Senior High (Troy) – $5000
  • Stevensville Elementary (Stevensville) – $2675
  • Billings West High School (Billings) – $2600
  • Riverside Middle School (Billings) – $4964
  • Elysian Schools (Billings) – $4000
  • Canyon Creek School (Billings) – $666
  • Custer School District (Custer) – $4910

The grants were made possible through generous donations from the Walmart Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Share our Strength, AT&T and a personal donation from Harald Herrmann with Round It Up America. Award funds are intended to help schools to pay for essential equipment and infrastructure such as grab-and-go kiosks or carts for delivering meals to classrooms; programs are expected to be self-sustaining thereafter. This is the second round of school breakfast grants. Last November, the Governor and First Lady awarded $55,000 to 20 Montana schools.

The Bullocks launched the Montana Breakfast after the Bell initiative to increase participation in school breakfast and make it a part of the school day by serving it after the school day begins. The initiative aims to ensure that all kids can have a healthy start to the day by helping schools adopt proven breakfast models that increase participation, such as breakfast in the classroom and grab n’ go breakfasts. One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day.

Schools interested in starting a new breakfast program and/or making breakfast part of the school day can contact the Montana No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Coordinator, Rosie Cody at RCody@mt.gov or by phone at 444-3925.

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Have your ice cream for breakfast and Super Bowl too

The Children’s Museum Missoula is hosting its fifth annual Ice Cream for Breakfast this Sunday, Feb. 1., and don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to eat ice cream AND catch the Super Bowl kick-off. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Ice cream will be served from 9 a.m. t0 11 a.m. at the Wilma Theatre downtown. There will be a complete ice cream buffet, including waffles and bacon. There will also be Mismo Gymnastics on hand to offer tumbling and Childbloom Guitar music provided. For quieter morning types, a family-friendly movie will be playing in the small theater.

While the children’s museum is always happy to accept donations, this event is 100 percent free and open to all families, thanks to the sponsorship of these fine local businesses: The Wilma Theatre, ZillaState, Mismo Gymnastics, Childbloom Guitar, Zoo City Apparel, Black Coffee Roasting Company, Scotty’s Table, Posh Chocolat and Big Dipper Ice Cream.

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MT hands out $55K for school breakfasts

Here’s today’s new news from the Governor of Montana’s office:

Governor, First Lady Announce $55,000 in Grants for School Breakfast Programs

HELENA – Today, as a part of their Montana Breakfast After the Bell initiative, Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock awarded $55,000 in grants to schools implementing new school breakfast programs or transitioning to models that increase participation. The grants were made possible with support from Share Our Strength, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Neptune Aviation.

“Childhood hunger is an important, but solvable issue in Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “Through these grants we’re removing an obstacle that many schools face to providing nutritious breakfast to their students. Montanans can be proud to know that progress is being made to ensure children don’t face the school day with an empty stomach.”

The Bullocks launched the Montana Breakfast after the Bell initiative to increase participation in school breakfast and make it a part of the school day by serving it after the school day begins. The initiative aims to ensure that all kids can have a healthy start to the day by helping schools adopt proven breakfast models that increase participation, such as breakfast in the classroom and grab n’ go breakfasts. One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day.

On average, school breakfast participation rises to more than 70 percent when schools implement a Breakfast after the Bell model versus 30 percent with a traditional model that serves breakfast in the cafeteria before school starts.

Kids who start their school day with breakfast score higher on math tests, attend more days of school, and are more likely to graduate high school.

The schools that received grants in the first grant cycle are:

  • Lockwood Middle & Intermediate Schools – $5,360
  • Hardin School District – $11,814
  • Fairview School – $4,200
  • Power School – $1,500
  • Rocky Boy School – $5,000
  • W F Morrison School – $3,000
  • Sunburst High School  – $1,500
  • Superior School – $5,000
  • Loy Elementary – $5,000
  • Lincoln Elementary – $5,000
  • Arlee Elementary School – $750
  • Arlee Junior High School – $750
  • Arlee High School – $750
  • Park City School $3,900
  • Valley View Elementary – $1150

“Montana students deserve every opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. Unfortunately, hunger and poor nutrition are providing additional challenges to many students in the state,” First Lady Lisa Bullock said. “Students in these schools will now have access to a nutritious breakfast that will prepare them to excel throughout the school day.”

Of the 859 schools across Montana, there are 51 districts and 87 schools serving breakfast after the bell.  Thirty-two of these schools started or plan to start serving a breakfast after the bell model this school year.

Research continues to show that children who eat a balanced breakfast are more likely to develop healthy eating habits, visit the school nurse less frequently, and maintain a healthy weight.  Despite the many benefits of breakfast, many students come to school too hungry to learn. In a recent survey of educators, three out of four teachers and principals say they see kids who regularly come to school hungry.

Schools interested in starting a new breakfast program and/or making breakfast part of the school day can contact the Montana No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Coordinator, Rosie Cody at RCody@mt.gov or by phone at 444-3925.

Montana No Kid Hungry continues to accept grant applications on a rolling basis with hopes of announcing the second round of grants in March 2015.  Schools can apply by visiting this link: grants.nokidhungry.org and the access code is MTBREAKFAST2014 (case-sensitive).

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Sweet! Honey Harvest Festival will be family-friendly

Mmm. Honey.

It’s good on toast and, mixed with hot water and cinnamon, it’s my go-to all-natural remedy for coughs and scratchy throats.

Next weekend, the first-ever Missoula Honey Harvest Festival will take place on the University of Montana Oval. It’s free, open to the community and best of all, family-friendly.

At the festival, local beekeepers and others in the bee business will have their wares on display and for sale. Festival-goers will also be treated to tastes, and will get to see live bees in a glass hive. They’ll get to learn about bees and can even try their hand at building a beehive.

There’s also going to be a honey auction for charity. And G. Wiz. (otherwise known as University of Montana chemistry professor Garon Smith) will offer his trademark educational entertainment for kids. Also, American Honey Princess (there really is such a thing!) Elena Huffman will travel all the way from Pennsylvania to be there. I look forward to seeing what she’s wearing. I hope it’s really princess-y and bee-themed.

 

Meanwhile, UM is hosting two “bee-related academic conferences,” according to a university news release: The 37th Annual Western Apicultural Society Conference and the second International Conference on Hive and Honeybee Monitoring. They will take place from Sept. 17-20.

“The conferences will provide great information to beekeepers and researchers, but the Honey Harvest Festival will be a fun celebration of the honey bee and local beekeepers,” Jerry Bromenshenk, a UM bee scientist and instructor of the UM School of Extended & Lifelong Learning’s Online Beekeeping Certificate Program, is quoted saying in the news release. “This is a great chance for those who are interested in beekeeping to meet folks who can help them get started.”

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Healthy cooking earns 10-year-old lunch with First Lady

Looking for a healthy summertime recipe that doesn’t require exotic ingredients or a lot of time to prepare?

Chloe Long’s got you covered. So do the other 53 winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

Long, a 10-year-old from Frenchtown, submitted a tofu stir-fry recipe to the national contest and won for Montana.

 

Her original recipe earned her a trip to Washington, D.C., and lunch with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Long dished that President Barack Obama made a surprise visit and shared that even the First Family has weaknesses: his is guacamole and chips and hers is French fries.

Since she’s been home, Long said she’s tried to continue her healthy ways.

For a little inspiration yourself, check out the cookbook with all this year’s winning recipes.

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Five Montana elementary schools attending ‘Veggie U’

Sustainable agriculture, healthy food choices, hands-on science.

It all adds up to “Veggie U,” which I learned yesterday is making its foray into fourth-grade classrooms in Arlee, the Gallatin Gateway, Helena, Lakeside and Wilsall. Students in the five-week program learn about growing food while tending their own gardens.

Read on for the full press release:

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Jeff Bridges in Montana to fight childhood hunger

No, for reals.

Jeff Bridges – The Dude himself – will be in Montana – Darby and Billings, of all places – to help draw the spotlight to a national program that fights childhood hunger.

The Governor and First Lady will be there too, along with the founder of the D.C.-based program, Share Our Strength.

Read on for the details:

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Plan ahead, sign up to help feed hungry children this summer

Thanks to Missoula’s breakfast and lunch programs, school-age children in low-income families don’t have to worry about going hungry during the school year.

It’s a different story in the summer months – unless people step up to help out with programs like the Summer Food Service Program. The program is actively looking for sponsors to help it get its ducks all lined up before the end of the school year.

Check it out, below:

Sponsors Needed for Summer Food Service Program

Help End Childhood Summer Hunger

Helena, MT— Now is the time for communities to start making plans to sponsor a Summer Food Service Program. The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Food Service Program from public and private nonprofit schools as well as local government agencies and private nonprofit organizations that are interested in sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program.

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