NEWPORT — The Vermont Community Foundation’s Northeast Kingdom Fund awarded Salvation Farms a grant to support a growing partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging.
Together, the organizations are increasing the amount of fresh, local produce used by community meal sites within the Kingdom.
“We’re thrilled to establish the partnership with Salvation Farms in the Northeast Kingdom,” said Laura Valcour, the Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness. “What an incredible opportunity to support our local farms, our communities, and our food system. It’s a win-win for all.”
Located in Morrisville, Salvation Farms is a non-profit organization that coordinates and distributes the collection of Vermont grown, surplus fruits and vegetables.
“Salvation Farms started gleaning the Lamoille Valley in north, central Vermont fifteen years ago,” said Theresa Snow, Executive Director of Salvation Farms. “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.”
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 unused.
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 in 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 will join 25 other organizations in receiving funds to strengthen and enrich communities in northern Vermont.