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Vermont Foodbank launches new program to purchase Vermont grown produce

www.vtfoodbank.org/VFV

In 2018, the Vermont Foodbank is piloting Vermonters Feeding Vermonters to increase the amount and quality of fresh, healthy food that we distribute. This is a program to purchase high quality fruits and vegetables directly from Vermont growers to distribute to Vermonters facing hunger. We are modelling this program after Mainers Feeding Mainers, a successful program run for the past seven years by the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine.

Our goal is to purchase approximately 150,000 pounds of Vermont grown produce in 2018. We anticipate during this first year pilot, that we will be able to work with a total of 4-6 Vermont farms, distributors, food hubs, etc.

The Vermont Foodbank has spent the past several years working to increase our distribution of fresh produce, focusing on the intersection of hunger and health. This effort, to make more fresh and healthy options available to those in our community facing hunger, is part of a shift happening in food banks across the country.

It took the Vermont Foodbank some time to build new systems, programs, and infrastructure to facilitate this change in our operations, but it has made a real difference — last year alone we distributed 2 million pounds of fresh produce. Of that, 465,000 pounds were grown here in Vermont. However, to meet the needs of food insecure Vermonters in a way that promotes health and benefits our local economy, that number needs to be much higher.

As a statewide distributor of nearly 12 million pounds of food annually, the Foodbank is being asked to step up to better engage our vibrant community of local farmers. Now, with the resources and systems we have built and a successful program model from Maine’s food bank, we are ready to forge ahead.

 

ATTENTION! Vermont Farmers, Distributors, Food Hubs, etc.

Are you interested in being a part of the Vermonters Feeding Vermonters Program?

Details and Application on the Vermonters Feeding Vermonters Webpage:

www.vtfoodbank.org/VFV

TIMELINE

  • November 8, 2017: Vermont Foodbank (VFB) releases a Request for Applications (RFA) to Vermont growers, distributors, food hubs, etc. (vendors).
  • November 27, 2017: Vendor deadline to submit questions. Click here to submit questions.  (Note: We are unable to meet in person, take phone calls or receive emails to Vermont Foodbank staff or board members.)
  • December 8, 2017: VFB will release all questions and answers to the public on this webpage.
  • December 15, 2017: Deadline for vendors to notify the VFB of intention to submit an application. Click here to notify us.
  •  January 3, 2018: Deadline to submit completed applications via email to vermonters@vtfoodbank.org. No late applications will be accepted. (Note: This email address will not be an active email account that can answer questions – it should only be used for submitting an application.)
  • January 17- January 31, 2018: VFB will notify all applicants of decision.
  • February 7, 2018: Vendor agreements including products, quantities and prices finalized.
  • February/March 2018: VFB begins purchasing products. (Note: this is the soonest the VFB would be able to purchase and receive products through this program).

** Important note: We are unable to meet in person, take phone calls or receive emails to Vermont Foodbank staff or board members.

 

Michelle Wallace

Director of Community Health and Fresh Food Initiatives

Vermont Foodbank

33 Parker Rd; Barre VT 05641