We fund high-performing organizations who collaborate and develop projects with the potential for statewide, systemic impact and convene them throughout the year to build a community of learning. The Food and Farm Initiative aims to foster an environment in which new connections, deeper understanding, and innovative solutions can emerge.
In late 2016 we awarded 11 grants totaling $660,000 to connect all Vermonters to healthy, local food. Though this grant cycle marks the last round of competitive grantmaking for the Food and Farm Initiative the work of our grantees will continue to grow in the years to come.
In June 2015 we awarded 12 grants totaling $500,300 to support continuing local and statewide efforts to help connect Vermont families of all incomes with local food. In this round of grants, we include projects that continue the momentum building in farm to school as well as those that extend into retail markets like independent grocery stores and farm-to-workplace programs.
We awarded eight grants totaling $280,000 in December 2014 to support continued progress in linking efforts to increase food security and strengthen the local food system, including two-year commitments to Hunger-Free Vermont and the Vermont Farm to Plate Network.
Year two grants for the Food and Farm Initiative were announced in February 2014. We awarded nearly $500,000 to nine projects across the state, and with the support of nearly 50 fundholders, foundations, companies, and individuals, we were able to fully fund all of the worthy projects presented to us.
We launched the Food and Farm Initiative with five collaborative grants totaling more than $300,000 to organizations working to bring more local food to cafeterias and more knowledge to classrooms. Read the List of Inaugural Grants
We believe it is possible to build a healthy, local food system that serves everyone in Vermont, and the Food and Farm Initiative is committed to fostering the collaborative partnerships needed to make it happen. We are bringing together philanthropists and community leaders to connect the dots between food security and local food, leveraging our resources and knowledge to mutually strengthen our efforts through:
- Shared Learning: In October 2013 we brought Kathleen Merrigan, Former Deputy Secretary to the United States Department of Agriculture, to speak to a group of philanthropists and community leaders in Richmond. Watch her full speech.
- Collaboration: The Community Foundation is a member of the Farm to Plate Network—the statewide collaboration working together to increase economic development and jobs in Vermont’s food and farm sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. Our engagement began with support for the state legislation that created the Farm to Plate Initiative and funding for its 10-Year Strategic Plan to strengthen Vermont’s food system and double local food consumption by 2020. The Food and Farm Initiative continues to provide funding for the Network’s operations. Learn more.
- Storytelling: In 2014, Food and Farm Intern Ben Harris collected stories and made short videos about our grantees. Watch their stories.
Understanding Vermont Report: Local Food for Healthy Communities
Our 2013 report, Local Food for Healthy Communities: Bringing Food Security to All Vermonters, is part of our Understanding Vermont series for philanthropists and grantmakers made possible by generous contributors to the Community Foundation's Philanthropic Leadership Fund.
The local food system offers many opportunities for the nonprofit sector and coordinated philanthropy to make a difference and this report highlights approaches and programs that are especially promising. The Community Foundation's Local Food and Farms Fund pools and distributes contributions toward those approaches. We invite you to download the report and discover ways to take action on this critical issue.
Download the report
[1.3 MB PDF]
Learn about the organizations mentioned in the report