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Montana Farmers Union helps feed troops in DC

Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 13:31:09-04

BOZEMAN — National Guard troops on duty in Washington D.C. have been able to enjoy healthy, farm-fresh meals thanks to a $50,000 donation from Farmers Union Enterprises.

The plan came about when Montana Farmers Union president Walter Schweitzer heard that service members may not be getting enough nutritious food to eat while on tour in Washington, D.C.

“We're reading in the press that our National Guard is getting substandard food and not enough of it,” said Schweitzer. “And when we can't even feed the troops that are protecting our capital and our democracy, that's a problem. I knew we needed to fix this.”

Schweitzer contacted his fellow Farmers Union Presidents in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The five states make up Farms Union Enterprises, which owns numerous agricultural businesses across the nation. One business the entity owns is the Founding Farmers restaurants based in D.C.

The five state Farmers Unions agreed that the restaurant would the most efficient way of delivering food to the troops.

“You know some days you just need some good news to drop from the skies,” said Dan Simons of the Founding Farms Restaurant Group. “And that's how I felt when I got that phone call.”

That phone call and the $50,000 donation from the Farmers Union leaders helped create more than 5,000 boxed meals for National Guard troops in just a four-day period. But these were not just a typical boxed meal option.

“Chef-crafted, catering delivery of delicious fresh food using family farmed ingredients,” Simons said as he described the food. “That is the picture of the kinds of foods that we're getting to the National Guard.”

Simons said the troops were overjoyed with the new food options. He added that it was also an example of Americans helping Americans. Coming together over a nutritious meal.

“The National Guard protects us,” said Simons. “We feed them. The Guard is made up of all sorts of folks. To me, it's a wonderful story of what happens when American farmers support other folks in the country. There's a heartwarming part of the story. And it also highlights the need.”

Farmers Union believes this is just the start in helping feed the nation's men and women in uniform.

“This was all just a little seed that got planted,” said Schweitzer. “I'm pretty excited about how quick it came together. I'm kind of hoping that we can get some more people to join us.”

To participate in feeding our troops, visit montanafarmersunion.com.