Institutions lead way in healthy sustenance
MONTROSE — A number of Montrose institutions are leading the way in serving fresh, locally grown food to the residents who want it the most.
The Lobby Grill of Montrose Memorial Hospital and school cafeterias within the Montrose School District continue to serve fresh local foods each day.
The hospital serves locally grown beef, pork, eggs and vegetables every day, according to food services director Mike Krull.
“If I find the opportunity to purchase within a 15-mile radius, those are the people who I want to do business with,” Krull said.
Krull said the flavor, textures and colors of local vegetables are better than those grown elsewhere.
“We have to remember, we are an agricultural community. It’s bringing those roots back to this generation,” said Kathy DelTonto, nutritional services director for the Montrose School District.
DelTonto and Krull come from farming backgrounds and are coordinators for the Valley Food Partnership.
DelTonto said district schools in Montrose and Olathe have been serving local foods for nearly 30 years.
She said new efforts to educate students about local food are under way, but the majority of that education must come from parents.
“We have to educate our parents that it’s not harder or more expensive to serve better food to their kids,” DelTonto said.
DelTonto said the district recently purchased 2 1/2 tons of locally grown pinto beans and is considering adding local free-range poultry to its menus.
She said schools next year will offer more salad bars with labels telling students where the food is coming from.
Additionally the district is considering adding a farmers market inside Montrose High School so students can see what’s fresh and new.