Vermont is developing a food security plan. The plan will advance long-term, equitable, food security and food access by all of Vermont’s residents not only today but in times of crisis, regardless of their life circumstances.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the benefit of a thriving agricultural economy in buffering national food supply chain disruptions, particularly for those already struggling to obtain adequate food. Social and economic disruption due to climate change and related emergencies is all too likely to continue. Household food insecurity is a result of structural socioeconomic factors often beyond the control of individual households, and eliminating it will require a system-level approach to ending poverty and other barriers to healthy food in Vermont. Coordinated, statewide action is needed to ensure food security across Vermont, in times of crisis and times of calm, for every Vermonter.
There will be many ways to join this plan and planning process, and it will only succeed with voices and expertise from across the state. There will be opportunities for leadership, input, guidance, and connections; ways for stakeholders with lived expertise to shape the plan; and more.
The Farm to Plate Network Food Security Strategy Team is tasked with pushing forward this priority strategy. The Team is currently forming. Stipends are available to support participation. Please contact Becka Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Danly (email@example.com).
The Vermont Agriculture and Food System Strategic Plan 2021-2030 contains this strategy:
Develop a Vermont food security plan, centered around a thriving food system and inspired by community-based responses to food insecurity and disruptive events. Involve food insecure individuals as well as farmers in the planning, and investigate questions including, but not limited to, affordable housing, health care, transportation, siting of retail grocery stores, food distribution, and ensuring the continued production of food in Vermont. Work to adopt state and regional level policies, procedures, and plans to ensure that the Vermont food supply is sufficient to withstand global or national food supply chain disruptions caused by climate change and other disasters.
In summer 2021, the planning project began. It is an effort held by VT Farm to Plate Network in collaboration with statewide food system partners, with significant stakeholder engagement. A Farm to Plate Network Food Security Plan Strategy Team is launching, supported by backbone staff at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. It will focus on strategies to end food insecurity at the systemic level and strengthen local food supply chains.
In addition to the relationships and information-sharing built through this process, the concrete deliverable will be a Food Security Plan (which may not be a traditional printed document). The plan will document the wide array of food security organizations and initiatives existing statewide; provide an overview of current status and barriers to each of the elements of food security, as well as how these elements will be affected by climate change; and recommend actions for increasing food security prioritized by the stakeholder participants. The Plan will be carefully designed to be an accessible source of information for many different kinds of stakeholder to identify a role for themselves and to understand how to implement these strategies.
The planning process is still under development and may occur in phases.
Learn about Food Security
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The four pillars of food security are availability, access, utilization and stability.