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Food Connects Gets a New Ride

https://www.foodconnects.org/

[BRATTLEBORO, VT] Food Connects, a non-profit organization that focuses on farm to school programming and wholesale local food distribution, added a new refrigerated van to its Food Hub fleet for deliveries.

Food Connects was able to purchase the new refrigerated cargo van thanks to grant support from the State of Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board and USDA Rural Development. The van allows Food Connects to have two drivers making deliveries simultaneously, increasing the amount of locally produced food delivered in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Deliveries are made to over 100  hospitals, schools, independent grocers, co-ops, and other wholesale buyers in the region.

Adding the van to the Food Hub fleet was necessary to keep pace with the rapidly growing demand for local food in the region. And the arrival of the van was well-timed, as sales dramatically increased this fall. Food Connects has had multiple and consecutive record-breaking sales weeks since the purchase of the van, and sales in September were higher than any single month in the organization’s history. And the best part? All of these dollars stay local and go back to more than 60 local producers in this community.

The van presents even more opportunities for the future of Food Connects. It creates an opportunity to increase the variety of items sold, including the number of frozen products it delivers to its customers. Food Connects will be able to reach remote buyers more efficiently and more often, helping with their expansion of services to the Upper Valley region.  It’s also an investment in their effort to provide the best and most reliable customer service to all of their customers. Most importantly, it strengthens market development support for local agriculture and food businesses that are critical to the future of the rural economy.

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Food Connects is an entrepreneurial non-profit that delivers locally produced food as well as educational and consulting services aimed at transforming local food systems. The Food Hub aggregates and delivers from over 45 local farms and food producers to over 100 buyers in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Our educational services focus on a Farm to School Program. Acknowledged as a statewide leader, the program supports over 30 schools to increase local food purchasing, school meal participation, and food, farm, and nutrition education. Together these core programs contribute to a vibrant local economy by increasing local food purchases by schools and improving students’ nutrition and academic performance. Additionally, Food Connects is frequently hired to provide leadership and consulting services for efforts aimed at transforming local food systems in the New England region.