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Montana local food challenge: More significance this year


Big Sky Connection

 Helena, MT – August is the Montana Local Food Challenge, encouraging people to shop locally, saying it's more important than ever to think about the food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandmeic. Comments from Dena Hoff, member, Northern Plains Resource Council, farmer outside of Glendive.

Click on the image for the audio.    ~For the local food challenge, Montanans are encouraged to eat something grown
locally everyday. (Northern Plains Resource Council)


Eric Tegethoff


August 3, 2020

HELENA, Mont. - This August is the fifth annual Montana Local Food Challenge. With the food supply chain and local businesses in a precarious state because of COVID-19, eating locally has added significance this year.


During the challenge, Montanans are asked to eat something grown locally every day. Dena Hoff is a farmer outside of Glendive and a member of Northern Plains Resource Council, which hosts the Challenge.


She said the pandemic has revealed to people the fragile nature of our food system.


"It's been a real eye opener for them to understand that it isn't that difficult to disrupt the food chain," said Hoff.


Hoff said in years past, folks would get together to kick off the food challenge. She said it's a way to support local economies and farming and ranching families.


Hoff said people might be surprised to find out what local food is available in their communities.


"It gives people incentive to want to eat better," said Hoff. "To want to perhaps grow their own gardens or look in their own gardens and get an idea of a new way to use something that they're growing but they've never tried a certain recipe or used something in a certain way."


Hoff said she believes locally grown food is safer for consumers than food that has to be shipped in from other parts of the country.


"People trust their neighbors," said Hoff. "They know you. They know that there's accountability right there. There's no remove when you're selling direct to the farmer's market."


The Local Food Challenge includes new challenges every week of August. Find out more at ''

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