The Farm to Plate Network is developing a statewide local food campaign to increase consumer demand for local food. As farmers and producers scale up production and additional market channels (retail, restaurants, institutions, direct sale) are opened to more Vermont food, the local food marketing campaign will target messaging to Vermont consumers to stimulate increased purchases, participation and awareness in Vermont’s local food economy. The campaign aims to help Vermonters feel connected to local food and celebrate individual entry points – whether it’s gardening, hunting, visiting a farm, or purchasing local products. Campaign messaging will encourage increased local food awareness and engagement that will help Vermonters connect the local food economy to the growth and success of Vermont communities, and ultimately lead to increased purchases.
During the Spring 2016 semester, a team of four Middlebury College students are researching and collecting data specifically related to developing a replicable Regional Food Rescue Assessment Tool. This tool will help regions of the state identify local partners and infrastructure to increase the amount of food rescued and redistributed within the charitable food system as a result of Universal Recycling mandates. Their research is contributing to the development of a 3 year program and pilot demonstration project.