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Food Connects Welcomes New Food Hub Local Food Procurement Coordinator

www.foodconnects.org

Food Connects is excited to welcome David Paysnick to their Food Hub team as their new Local Food Procurement Coordinator. This brand new position will serve farms and food producers in the region, working to expand their markets and offer Food Connects' customers an even broader selection of products.

David joined the team in December with 25 years of experience in a variety of food-related occupations. Most recently, David operated Rainbow Harvest Farm in Greenfield, MA, producing organically grown vegetables, herbs, nursery plants, fig-trees, and specialty food products for sale at Western Massachusetts farmers’ markets. “I’ve been feeding people my whole life,” says Paysnick. “Improving food access and creating equity in food systems have been some of the passions that have driven my work over the past many years. When I learned about the goals and programs at Food Connects, it seemed like a perfect fit. I’m thrilled to see the successes of the Farm to School program and excited to be working with so many highly motivated people working to create positive change in the world.”

At Food Connects, the Food Hub team works tirelessly to help farms and food producers in our region thrive. Paysnick’s experience within the food and farming industry provides him with a deep understanding of the needs and perspectives of Food Connects’ customers and producers. “My goals are to be able to support any and all producers who wish to get involved with the Food Hub,” says Paysnick. “Whether they are a small farm or business with no wholesale experience, or a veteran farmer looking to expand their markets, I hope to be able to provide the logistical support needed to make partnering with Food Connects a mutually beneficial relationship. My ultimate goal would be that Food Connects is able to help all of our producers ensure that no food goes to waste and all farm products find a good home!”

And the Food Hub is thrilled to have Paysnick’s enthusiasm and visions for the future as they continue to grow. “In 2021, we want to work to serve our producers better than ever, and offer our customers more choice and consistency than they've ever had with Food Connects,” says Alex McCullough, Food Hub Co-Manager. “We're pretty thrilled to have someone like David, with a long history in both farming as well as food retail, at Food Connects to help us take our sourcing program to the next level. In the short time he's been with us, he's already brought a great deal of insight. We're really looking forward to seeing what we are able to accomplish with him on the team.”

“The local food movement provides economic, environmental, and social benefits for those that embrace it,” says Paysnick. “Supporting the local food movement leads to more local jobs, more food dollars recirculating within the region, increased food security, and fresher, safer, more nutritious food. It also helps to preserve farmland and genetic biodiversity while reducing emissions as compared to transporting food across great distances. The local food movement supports the many interwoven relationships between our farms, families, institutions, and natural resources and aims to strengthen those relationships for the benefit of all.”

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 115 local farms and food producers to over 195 buyers in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Their educational services focus on 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.