As our inaugural Big Impact project, the Food and Farm Initiative is fighting hunger while supporting our farmers. We’ve granted $1.6 million since 2012, and we are seeing more kids getting healthy local food at school, more Vermont food sold here in the state, and an increased focus on creating a local food system that serves Vermonters.
In 2015, the Food and Farm Initiative made 15 grants totaling $500,313.
Bennington County Regional Commission received $5,000 to support county-wide collaboration and planning by the Bennington Farm to Plate Council.
Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) received two grants totaling $67,375 to expand their line of lightly- processed Vermont-grown vegetables and market them to schools, child care, and senior centers. The grants were awarded in collaboration with the High Meadows Fund.
Food Connects received $62,110 to stimulate innovation in the supply of local foods to Vermont schools through market research and product development, and to increase demand through the promotion of school meals.
Green Mountain Farm-to-School received $55,000 to increase the capacity and effectiveness of farm-to-school coordinators around the state.
Intervale Center received $8,828 to conduct research on local foods availability at independent grocery stores and interview store owners and managers to inform efforts to help stores stock more local foods.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) received $75,000 to provide training and resources to school districts, farmers, and food hubs about incorporating local foods and nutrition education into their school-year and summer meal programs. They will also pilot free summer meals for kids over the weekend at two farmers’ markets.
Northwestern Medical Center received two grants totaling $36,000 to strengthen Northwest Healthy Roots, a program designed to increase local food access and farm viability in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. The grants were awarded in collaboration with the High Meadows Fund.
Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) received $45,000 to support a partnership between RAFFL and Vital Communities which aims to broaden the range of community members engaged in their regions' local farm economies.
Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day), a partnership of Shelburne Farms and NOFA-VT, received $75,000 to support the Vermont Farm to School Network.
Vermont Food Bank received $5,000 to support VT Fresh. This grant is a match to donations raised through Vermont Restaurant Week.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets received $21,000 to document and communicate the economic value of farm to school on behalf of a Vermont Farm to School Network work team.
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board received two grants totaling $45,000 to increase the capacity of Vermont's food hubs and to increase food security and food access programming for families at affordable housing facilities. The grants were awarded in collaboration with the High Meadows Fund.
GRANTS ANNOUNCED IN JANUARY 2015
Hunger Free Vermont received $100,000 to support school districts and farm-to-school nonprofits to improve participation in school meals over the next two years.
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund received $80,000 to support the coordination of the Farm to Plate Network as it executes the state’s Farm to Plate Plan over the next two years.