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Nearly $500,000 in Grants Awarded to Connect More Vermont Kids & Families with Local Food

The Vermont Community Foundation has announced nine grants totaling $494,584 for the second year of its Food and Farm Initiative, designed to connect Vermont’s local food movement with the fight against hunger. The second round of grants represents a 60% increase in funding over the first year, thanks to growing support from donors.

The Food and Farm Initiative supports efforts that get local food to more Vermonters, especially those who struggle with issues of food insecurity. The Foundation is using research, gatherings, grants, and investments to strengthen the connections between farmers, distributors, and consumers; educate and engage kids and families; and build a coordinated, statewide structure to carry the work of farm to school forward. Much of the work builds on recommendations made in the state’s Farm To Plate strategic plan, which was unveiled in 2009.

“This is more than simple check writing,” says Special Projects Director Janet McLaughlin, head of the Food and Farm Initiative. “We want to help prove that Vermont can reduce hunger and strengthen our local food system at the same time. We brought some of Vermont’s top food nonprofits together to develop collaborative projects that build on one another—and are proud to support projects that will make a lasting contribution to getting all Vermonters healthy, local food.”  

Among the nine organizations receiving a grant is the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) in Hardwick, for a collaborative project which tests and models the financial viability of lightly-processed Vermont veggies, like carrot sticks and frozen broccoli, for use in school cafeterias. 

“The collaboration that this grant will make possible is especially exciting,” says CAE’s Executive Director Sarah Waring. “By working with the Intervale Center, NOFA-VT, and farm-to-school organizations around the state, we can learn what is needed to bring more local farmers into the farm-to-school market, with local products that kids enjoy, school food service directors can use, and Vermont farmers can grow.”

To make a donation or to learn more about the Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative, visit

Food & Farm Initiative Second Year Grants (more detail available on website)

The Center for an Agricultural Economy and partners the Intervale Center and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont received $72,645 for their project Vermont Produce for Schools.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) received $54,656 for their projectScaling Up and Out to Increase Local Food in Institutions.

Food Connects and partners Green Mountain Farm-to-School and Rutland Area Food and Farm Link received $74,923 for their project Changing Behavior When it Comes to Local Food.

Green Mountain Farm-to-School and partners Food Connects and Upper Valley Farm-to-School received $75,000 for the Harvest of the Month: A Campaign to Bring Farm-to-School to Every Vermont School.

Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day), a partnership of Shelburne Farms and NOFA-VT received $42,000 to support the Farm-to-School Institute, and $33,000 for a Systems Map for the Farm-to-School Network.

Upper Valley Farm-to-School and partners Food Connects, Green Mountain Farm-to-School, and VT-FEED received $41,000 forRegional Farm-to-School Capacity-Building and Training                      

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets received $26,360 forVermont Farm-to-School Network Strategic Planning.

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board received $40,000 to support Professional Development for Regional Farm-to-School Organizations.                             

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund received $35,000 to support theFarm to Plate Network.                    



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 inspiring. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs and keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital. Together, its funds and programs provide more than $12 million a year in grants and other investments in Vermont. Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.

Emily Jacke
Community Philanthropy Associate
The Vermont Community Foundation
(802) 388-3355 ext. 285