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Farmacy Project, the food-as-medicine program of the Vermont Farmers Food Center, expands to six distribution sites in Rutland county.

https://www.vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org/farmacy_project

With the help of the Rutland Free Clinic in 2019 and their focus on reaching the outlying communities in the county, relationships were established with many organizational partners leading into the 2020 Farmacy season. This year the program serves 175 members in the county and has four new pick-up sites in Brandon, Poultney, Fair Haven and Danby. These community partners include the Smokey House Center of Danby, Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon, Fair Haven Concerned, the Kinder Way Farm Sanctuary of Benson, and the Poultney Food Shelf. As a result of these partnerships the food as medicine program is now accessible to those living in the further reaches of the county. The two original pick-up sites in Rutland city at the Vermont Farmers Food Center and the Rutland Community Health Center have remained with help from community volunteers. The Farmacy Project has also continued to partner with local healthcare providers to receive referrals even during the current pandemic and looks to expand its reach partnering with all of the Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region for 2021 as well as expand our relationship with the Rutland Regional Medical Center and their programs including Diabetes Prevention Program.

The Farmacy Project has created and established systems and working relations that make the link between farm viability, and public health - weaving together the educational and cultural experiences that community, people centered, place-based programming can provide. Prescription clients receive 10-12 pounds of fresh produce for 15 deliveries, twelve during the summer and three throughout the fall. The Farmacy Project functions solely off of foundational grants, sponsorships and private donations and is dependent on dedicated community volunteers. This year we have received continued support and funding from the United Way of Rutland County, People's United Bank, Community Bank, N.A, Union Mutual, You First of the Vermont Department of Health, Lookout Foundation, the Windham Foundation, the Robby Southworth Memorial Fund, and generous private community donations.

The Farmacy Project is a program of the Vermont Farmers Food Center whose mission is to increase access and availability of locally produced food in the Rutland Region through education, expanding markets and market access, aggregation, and distribution of locally produced and value added agricultural products. For more information, ways to volunteer with the Farmacy Project, or to donate to the program please contact: Emma Hileman, Farmacy Project Director at ehileman@vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org or call (802) 342-4219