Food Connects will host the first Taste of Food Connects from November 1 to 21. This event brings together over 90 local businesses throughout the Windham County and Monadnock Regions to celebrate our vibrant local economy. This unique event is part Local Passport, benefitting local businesses, and part Silent Auction, supporting Food Connects’ annual fund.
The idea for this event came as a response to COVID-19 putting a damper on Food Connects’ initial fundraising plans for the fall. “Typically we’d bring together a number of local chefs to feature locally grown and produced foods,” says Laura Carbonneau, Food Connects’ Marketing Manager. “That just wasn’t a safe option this year. So we thought: how can we hold a fundraiser for our programming and support local businesses during these challenging times.” And the Taste of Food Connects was born.
So how does it work? From November 1 to 21, shop at any of the 21 participating businesses—when you spend $10 or more you can add a sticker to your passport. After three stickers you can be entered to win one of nine great prizes, including $1,000 to spend at local businesses or however your family needs this holiday season. Multiple passport entries are encouraged.
“The team at Food Connects hopes that this program will help encourage community members to shop at local businesses,” says Carbonneau. “We understand how COVID-19 impacted and continues to impact our community partners and we need to continue to fortify and strengthen our local economy. We are stronger together and the community needs us all to shop locally this holiday season.”
The culmination of this program ends with a 5 days virtual silent auction from November 16 to 20 to support Food Connects annual fund. Food Connects, a 501c3 non-profit, continues to grow despite these challenging times. Their Farm to School programming continues to develop unique ways to support schools through COVID-19 and leverage opportunities for increased food security. At the same time, the Food Connects Food Hub continues to grow and be a regional leader in fortifying local food infrastructure.
“Our goal is to raise $5,000 for our programming,” says Carbonneau. “We strive to create healthy, families, thriving farms, and connected communities—we couldn’t do this work without the generous support of our community and donors. This is a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping done while supporting a great cause. The silent auction features amazing bundles of products and services from local businesses, encourages community members to shop locally, and provides us with the much needed operating revenue. Thank you to all of those who will support us through this auction.”
To learn more about the Taste of Food Connects head to www.foodconnects.org/taste-of-food-connects.
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 100 local farms and food producers to over 145 buyers in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Their educational services focus Farm to School programming. 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.