FOOD & FARM INITIATIVE
SPRING 2015 PROGRESS REPORT
Connecting all Vermonters with healthy, local food.
The Community Foundation launched the Food and Farm Initiative in 2012, seeing an opportunity—and a need—to connect the state’s burgeoning local food movement with the fight against hunger. Since then, with the support of our donors, we’ve awarded more than $1 million in grants to create lasting links between organizations working on food security and local food. In its first two years, the initiative supported projects building a sustainable system of local food provision and education in Vermont’s schools, where nearly 40% of children are eligible for free meals. We’re seeing real progress on all fronts, from more kids getting healthy, local food at school to more local produce available in wholesale markets so that more Vermonters can see Vermont’s food as their own. And there is still much to be done.
WE NEED YOU Your contribution to the Food and Farm Initiative will help us deepen and expand the collaboration and innovation needed to make local food accessible to all Vermonters. Organizations are working together in new ways, and creative solutions are
“Collaboration at this scale was not the norm for how we had been working, how organizations have been working, or how our society has been working... And I think it’s paying off.” – Anore Horton, Hunger Free Vermont
getting off the ground. We need your support to keep moving forward. Join us and the nearly 60
Grantees Working Together on Collaborative Projects
other families, businesses, and foundations who
Center for an Agricultural Economy Green Mountain Farm-to-School • Hunger Free Vermont Intervale Center • The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont • Rutland Area Food and Farm Link Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund • Vital Communities Vermont Foodbank • Vermont FEED • Shelburne Farms Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Farm and Forest Viability Program • Food Connects
got us this far and help us take this work to the next level. Together, we can build a food system that serves all Vermonters. Give online at
Connecting the Dots What food can Vermont farmers profitably grow that can be delivered in a way that schools can use, that kids will actually eat, and that everyone can afford? This is the challenge of farm to school. Your contributions
Farmers are the backbone of Vermont’s working landscape. For their foods to reach more Vermont families in need, they need well-targeted business planning and infrastructure for storing, processing, and delivering their products.
The Northeast Organic Farmers Association of Vermont provided timely technical training to farmers, distributors, and schools on new USDA rules that affect the purchase of local food.
to the Food and Farm Initiative support efforts to connect farmers, schools, and families.
Learn more vermontcf.org/localfood
Innovation in Processing & Distribution
The Center for an Agricultural Economy launched a business that’s already bringing tens of thousands of pounds of lightly-processed, Vermont-grown vegetables to schools and other institutions.
Planning and M
Vermont FEED’s Farm Institute provid planning support, a mentoring to
Local Food Education
SCHOOLS & Other Institutions
Schools serve the vast majority of Vermont children, and are an important source of nourishment for many. Yet schools need support in the form of new infrastructure and professional development before they can increase the amount of healthy, local food they serve.
m-to-School ded training, and ongoing o teams from 24 schools.
State Policy Change
Coordinated School Outreach
Hunger Free Vermont and Food Connects partnered to go school by school in Windham County helping connect more students with local food.
6,000 more Vermont kids are eligible for free school meals thanks to a policy championed by Hunger Free Vermont that made Vermont the first in the nation to provide all low-income children with free breakfast and lunch at school. And more kids eating school meals means more resources for schools to buy local food.
More than 60% of Vermont schools have adopted the Harvest of the Month program which promotes local food to kids and families.
KIDS & FAMILIES
Most Vermont families value fresh, local food and would buy more of it, but barriers to access like driving distance, familiarity with local harvests, and the often higher price tag limit their choices.
The Vermont Farm to Plate Network The Food and Farm Initiative is aligned with the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan’s goal to increase access to local food and supports the activities of the Farm to Plate Network—350 businesses and organizations working together to grow Vermont’s food and farm economy.
The Food and Farm Initiative works at the nexus of hunger, health, and the stateâ€™s agricultural tradition to
families with healthy,
3 Court Street Middlebury, VT 05753
local foodâ€”regardless of where they live or what they earn.
Photos: Caleb Kenna, John Lazenby