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Innovations and Collaborations grant program at the Vermont Community Foundation awards more than $200,000 to 15 nonprofit organizations - including four food system related projects

The Vermont Community Foundation announced that the Innovations and Collaborations grant program awarded $216,000 to 15 nonprofit organizations in Vermont in June. One of a number of competitive grant programs at the Community Foundation, Innovations and Collaborations supports projects that help nonprofits collaborate across sectors and regions to develop common solutions to community needs. Community Foundation fundholders partnered with the Foundation in making the grants, which ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 for new and continued projects.

“We’re excited to demonstrate through this grant program that Vermont nonprofit organizations are working together to create stronger, healthier communities across a spectrum of issues and concerns,” says Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, philanthropic advisor for program and grants. “From youth media literacy to criminal justice reform, these grants demonstrate the best in Vermont partnerships proving that ‘better together’ is indeed a strategy that produces results.”

This spring's grants included support for four food system related projects:

Mary Johnson Children’s Center received $15,000 for Rural Fun Delivery, a project that will provide meals, social support, and engaging activities for underserved children and youth in rural Addison County this summer.
Partners: Counseling Service of Addison County and Addison Northeast Food Collaborative.

UVM Extension received $20,000 to establish greater coordination and increase local capacity for managing invasive species in Vermont by developing a statewide strategic plan and online tools to increase information sharing.
Partners: Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Department of Forests Parks & Recreation, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Salvation Farms received $10,000 for a second year of funding to continue developing a prison-based vocational program in which residents of the Southeast State Correctional Facility process Vermont crops that would otherwise go to waste, gain skills, and help integrate more affordable, healthy food into the charitable food system.
Partners: Vermont Department of Corrections, Southeast State Correctional Facility, Black River Produce, and Vermont Foodbank

Umbrella of St. Johnsbury received $10,000 for a second year of funding for their FRESH Food Kitchen, a workforce training program for women in the Newport region. The program trains women in food preparation skills while preparing meals for local senior meal programs.
Partner: Vermont Works for Women’s FRESH Food Program

To learn more and view the full list of Innovations and Collaborations grants from June 2014, visit


The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.

Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.