By Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2020

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) - A bakery in southern Montana that is expected to provide job training and fresh bread to residents and food pantries statewide has started to prepare for opening day.

The Livingston Community Bakery expects to open in less than a month about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Bozeman, Montana Public Radio reported.

The goal of the bakery is to provide free artisan bread to any food pantry in the state that wants it, Executive Director Michael McCormick said. Bozeman-based company Quality Food Distributors has agreed to then transport the bread pro bono, he said.

The bakery is an extension of the nearby Livingston Food Resource Center that provides people in need with food, opportunities in culinary education and economic development, McCormick said. The center serves about 700 people, or about 10% of the city population, he said.

The center has served about 150 loaves each week, but with the bakery the organization expects to more than triple the number, officials said.

The bread will also be made with Montana grain, McCormick said.

“We’re teaching people a trade, we’re creating a new market for Montana farmers who are growing wheat and grains, and we’re feeding people in ways that’s truly nutritious and will help them be well. So we cover a lot of bases when we do a project like this,” he said.

The non-profit Human Resource Development Council owns the new space, but the resource center just had to raise $110,000 to pay for the equipment, McCormick said.

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