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Food Connects Welcomes New Food Hub Operations Coordinator

Food Connects is excited to welcome Deborah Sadler to their team as their new Food Hub Operations Coordinator. Deborah is the first in a series of new hires to support Food Connects’ continued operational growth. Deborah splits her time coordinating Food Hub pickups and deliveries and driving delivery routes.

Deborah joined the Food Connects team in August after managing a goat dairy and creamery. In graduate school, she researched the effects of government policies on farmers’ ability to adapt to drought. Her passion for building local food systems and supporting farmworkers is a huge asset to the growing Food Hub team. “I know how difficult it can be as a small producer to reach customers,” says Deborah. “Food Hubs offer an important connection for producers to access larger markets. I'm excited to be a part of strengthening our local food system!”

Supporting local farmers and food producers to grow and expand their networks is core to what Food Connects does. Deborah’s passion and experience on farms is key to the growth of the Food Hub and fortifying connected communities. “As a farmer, I understand many of the difficulties faced by local producers, and look forward to supporting them! The Food Connects Food Hub is in a period of growth and is well-positioned to take on a leadership role in building a network of local food hubs throughout New England. As the new Food Hub Operations Coordinator, I hope to help alleviate some of those growing pains with new, efficient systems that allow us to do our work more effectively.”

"We're so lucky—and excited—to have Deborah join our team!” says McKenna Hayes, Food Connects Food Hub Operations Manager. “She brings such positive energy and a fresh perspective to our current operations; just a few months into her time with us and she's already making significant improvements and helping to tighten up our operational systems. I'm very excited to see where she takes this role as our organization continues to grow."

 “Local food systems are the ultimate way to build community, especially in an increasingly disconnected world,” says Deborah while sharing why the local food movement is so important to her. “With non-local foods; mistreatment of the land, ecosystem, and farmworkers is often out of sight, out of mind. Local farmers and producers are personally invested in the effects their businesses have on their neighbors. Local farmers who live in the communities they feed want to preserve and improve their soil and water resources. Local producers can see and address inequities in the food system that is overlooked by national brands and chains. When individuals, restaurants, and institutions buy local food, they are voting with their dollar to keep their money locally and to support their neighbors. And of course, fresh local food just plain tastes better!”

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.