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All around the country, there is a revolution occurring in University Dining Halls. In some cases, universities and colleges are realizing the importance of sustainability/green initiatives in attracting students to their campuses; in other cases, these changes to a more sustainable and delicious food supply are happening as the result of student efforts. At the University of Montana, Dining Services is working with a local community-based food coalition. In today’s post, Lianna Bishop, a recent college grad and Terra Madre 2008 youth delegate writes to us from Missoula Montana about her role in helping the University’s dining services go local.

Greetings from Big Sky Country – Missoula, Montana! After graduating from Marquette University in May of 2008, I continued on the next step of my journey in strengthening local food communities at the University of Montana. In July, I began work as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer working in conjunction with The University of Montana Dining Services and the nonprofit organization Grow Montana, a broad-based coalition that works to support policies that promote community based food production. The AmeriCorps VISTA program is specifically designed to fight poverty and address food insecurity issues. As the Farm to College Coordinator at the University of Montana, I join four other “FoodCorps” volunteers around the state to promote community economic development policies that improve citizen access, particularly in schools and universities, to local Montana foods.