The Vermont Community Foundation’s Northeast Kingdom Fund awarded Salvation Farms a grant to support a growing partnership with Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging. Together, the organizations are increasing the amount of fresh, local produce used by community meal sites within the Kingdom.
Salvation Farms, located in Morrisville, VT, is a non-profit organization that coordinates the collection of Vermont grown, surplus fruits and vegetables and distributes them throughout Vermont and beyond. In 2018, their Lamoille Valley Gleaning program captured and moved an excess of 210,000 servings of wholesome, locally grown produce that would have remained on farms, never to be eaten. This nutritious food was provided to programs that feed some of the regions more vulnerable residents.
During a fall and winter pilot, Salvation Farms has delivered a variety of gleaned produce to six senior meal sites biweekly: Barton, Glover, Lyndonville, Orleans, West Burke, and Danville. The goal is to enable senior meal programs to use locally sourced food more regularly, and to improve the nutritional value of the meals. The deliveries also provide kitchen managers and meal site staff time to share recipes, storage techniques, and to build a network of support.
In 2019, the Northeast Kingdom Fund granted more than $95,000 in awards. From a pool of 54 proposals, Salvation Farms is honored to join 25 other organizations in receiving funds to strengthen and enrich communities in northern Vermont.
“Salvation Farms started gleaning the Lamoille Valley in north, central Vermont fifteen years ago. We provide direct service to farms, organize volunteers, collect produce from fields and wash/pack-houses, and coordinate distribution of nutrient dense food to folks with limited access to the fresh food grown in their communities. We are eagerly exploring this expanded distribution opportunity with the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging, making Vermont’s agricultural bounty available to seniors in the state’s northeast region,” said Theresa Snow, Executive Director of Salvation Farms.
Laura Valcour, the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness is excited about the project. “We’re thrilled to establish the partnership with Salvation Farms in the Northeast Kingdom. What an incredible opportunity to support our local farms, our communities, and our food system. It’s a win-win for all.”
Photo Caption: Caelan Keenan (left) Director of Programs for Salvation Farms is joined by Gloria Powers (center), Meal Site Manager for Glover and Michelle Coparanis, Meal Site Manager for West Burke during a fall produce delivery.