BIG SKY – For 10 years, Lindsie Hurlbut told her friend Whitney Littman, “I want to be the school lunch lady.” For most of that time Littman thought she was joking, but Hurlbut’s serious intent eventually became clear.

Since its genesis three years ago, the primary goal of the Big Sky School District Wellness Committee—which Littman oversees and on which Hurlbut used to serve—has been integrating nutrition into academics. Through her early involvement, Hurlbut realized her dream of being BSSD’s lunch lady, or Food Program Coordinator, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

The program she’s orchestrated is a multifaceted hit.

Since Hurlbut started, the number of BSSD students eating hot lunch daily has doubled, and she’d served 19,000 hot lunches to date by the end of February, according to Littman. Students and teachers alike are exposed to a variety of local foods, unlike the conventional image that “hot lunch” evokes for most people, thanks to a grant from the Moonlight Community Foundation that allows Hurlbut to order from regional growers.

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