Article by The Vermont Community Foundation
The Vermont Community Foundation has announced that its Food and Farm Initiative has made more than $660,000 to 11 organizations working to connect more Vermonters with healthy, local food in the Initiative’s final grant round. Half of the total granted out was made possible thanks to the partnership of donors and fundholders at the Foundation, including $75,000 in support from the High Meadows Fund.
The Community Foundation launched the Initiative in 2012 to improve Vermont’s ability to extend the benefits of local food to families of all incomes. Since then, the Foundation has granted out more than $2.2 million to support organizations working on local food and anti-hunger work.
“We’ve been proud to support the hard work Food and Farm Initiative grantees over the past five years,” says Jen Peterson, Vice President of Program and Grants at the Vermont Community Foundation. “The work they’re doing is making a major difference in our communities. Since the beginning of the Initiative, we’re seeing more Vermont farmers selling their products to local schools and other institutions, more children eating local foods at school, and more organizations coordinating their local food and anti-hunger work.”
Peterson noted that though this cycle of grants marks the final round of competitive grantmaking for the Initiative, the work of the grantees will continue to grow in the years to come, helping all Vermont families access healthy, local food.
To learn more about the Food and Farm Initiative, visit www.vermontcf.org/localfood.
Food and Farm Initiative Grantees
Center for an Agricultural Economy received $59,740 to strengthen the relationships between distributors, institutional food service directors, and others involved in the local food supply chain, making it easier to bring local food to Vermonters.
Food Connects received $37,800 to increase schools’ purchasing and consumption of local food in Southern Vermont, increasing students’ access to healthy school meals.
Green Mountain Farm to School received $37,800 to increase students’ access to healthy school meals in the Northeast Kingdom.
Hunger Free Vermont received $50,000 to help Vermont schools increase meal program participation and buy more local food.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont received $50,000 to provide resources, training, and technical assistance to schools and other institutions in order to help them increase local food procurement throughout the year.
Northwestern Medical Center received $32,810 to build awareness of and support for farm-to-school programming and increased purchasing of local food in schools with community leaders in Franklin and Grand Isle counties.
Rutland Area Farm and Food Link received $30,000 to increase students’ access to healthy school meals in Rutland County.
Shelburne Farms - Vermont FEED received $190,000 to increase public support for farm-to-school programming, document the impact of farm to school on school success, develop resources to support farm-to-school coordinators, and increase support from school leadership.
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board received $45,060 to provide business-planning support to food nonprofits and to help affordable housing developers include gardens, CSA deliveries, and nutrition programming on-site.
Vital Communities received $29,970 to increase students’ access to healthy school meals in Windsor County.
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund received $99,382 to serve as the network coordinator for the Farm to Plate Network and to provide trainings for owners of independent grocery stores to improve the way they source and display local food.