December 2020
Farm to Plate is Vermont’s food system plan being implemented statewide to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.
The Optimistic Caterer
Sugarsnap Keeps On Cooking
After the pandemic hit, Abbey Duke, owner of Sugarsnap Catering in Burlington, and her team refocused their efforts on delivery, packaging individual and family meals such as quarts of soup, casseroles, and shepherd’s pies.
Slow Money Vermont Presents
"Aware and No-Harm Investing" Virtual Workshop with Marco Vangelisti:
Thursday, December 10, 4-7 pm
In this workshop, Marco Vangelisti, CFA, a 100% Aware and No-Harm investor, will help you gain an understanding of the importance of moving towards aware and no-harm investing, and the options and tools available to do so. You will be introduced to an important new dimension to investing – the aware dimension – and to the importance of impact and regenerative investing in bringing about a healthier future. You will be introduced to additional resources about due diligence, local investing, and opportunities to learn more on the subject.
Thank you, Vermont!

We can probably all agree that 2020 has been a challenging year for the world; but during this international crisis we have found that Vermonters have rallied. Neighbors, Families, Businesses, Organizations, Farms, State & Local Agencies and Municipalities, Educational Institutions and more have come together to feed and care for one another. As we come to the close of the year, we find ourselves so grateful to be a part of the important work you all are doing, and thank you so much for all that you do. We are lucky to be here in this Vermont Community.

Financial sponsors of the Farm to Plate Network play a key role in keeping communication and inclusion alive - including supporting stipends for producers to attend meetings and keep the Farm to Plate Atlas up and running. We would like to say a big THANK YOU to our Farm to Plate Sponsors! Check out what they do - there is some amazing work happening in Vermont and beyond.

Advisory Board Video Series Launched
The Farm to Plate Network just released a new video series to help raise awareness and use of advisory boards among Vermont entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, advisory boards are an insurance policy against feeling overwhelmed or stuck. Also a resource for business-assistance service providers and capital providers, these short videos outline the what, why, and how of an underutilized tool for entrepreneurial success and thriving.
Save the Date: NOFA-VT's Winter Conference February 2021 / Registration Coming Soon
Rooted, Ready & Resilient - Uplifting BIPOC-led Vision for Crisis Proof Food Systems
“The values and solutions HEAL Food Alliance uplift in this guide center the knowledge, wisdom, and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who have been on the frontlines of the fights for food sovereignty, racial justice, climate justice, food security, worker justice, land justice, and environmental justice. This wisdom is the very core of who we are as people. It’s a wisdom that’s rooted in community, in care for each other, and in the understanding that life, and all that sustains it, is sacred.”
Local Food Resiliency in Vermont
Communities all around Vermont are creating, discovering, and revisiting strategies for building a more secure, accessible and resilient local food system. The Farm to Plate Network and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets have partnered on a collaborative project to showcase these community-based food access initiatives on the Local Food Resiliency in Vermont website. The website provides a library of profiles with strategies and successes coming from thoughtful planning and community connection, rooted in place-based thinking.

The profiles on the website highlight several initiatives that were underway prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and some that have made adjustments, or have been reimagined, in response to the current public health emergency, as well as recipients of the VAAFM Local Food in Your Community grants. We invite you to draw on these ideas and collective wisdom as you think and plan around food, accessibility and justice where you are.
COVID-19 Impacts on Vermont Food Security and Systems
The results of UVM's third survey of Vermonters about the impact of COVID-19 on food security and systems is now available. This data was collected in August and September 2020, and the attached research brief details the key results.

This most recent survey of 600 Vermonters, representative on race, ethnicity and income across the state, highlight continued challenges, but also some positive outcomes. Key findings include:
  • Nearly 30% of Vermont households experienced food insecurity at some point since the pandemic
  • Households more likely to be food insecure include low income households, households with children, households with a job disruption, and respondents without a college degree
  • 1/3 of respondent households used food assistance programs since COVID-19, an overall 18% increase in food assistance program use since before the pandemic 
  • Diet quality has been impacted since COVID-19- 25% of respondents are eating fewer fruits and vegetables and 50% of households with food insecurity report eating fewer fruits and vegetables
  • Concerns and challenges about food access have mostly gone down since March 2020, with the exception that Vermonters are more concerned about the cost of food (71% concerned)
  • Self food reliance is increasing- 42% of respondents did some type of home food procurement (i.e. backyard livestock, foraging, fishing, gardening, hunting or preserving) since COVID-19, and many did this for the first time or more intensely this year
  • Vermonters continue to help each other- the majority are wearing masks and socially distancing, while more than 40% delivered food to someone in their community
Farm to Plate Newsfeed
Food System Events and Workshops
Food System Jobs
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund/New England Food System Planners Partnership, Project Manager, New England Feeding New England Project
Intervale Center, Conservation Nursery Manager
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), Food & Farm Project Lead
Black Dirt Farm, Route Operator
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, Produce Program Contracts Administrator
Chittenden Solid Waste District, Drop-Off Center Operator
Vermont Community Loan Fund, Business Advisor
Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director
Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Bulk, Cheese, & Dairy Staff
Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Substitute Staff
Black Dirt Farm, Compost Operator
Grow Compost of Vermont, CDL A/B Drivers

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Vermont Food System News is published by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
3 Pitkin Court, Montpelier, VT 05602

Jake Claro, Farm to Plate Director
Sarah Danly, Farm to Plate Network Manager
Shane Rogers, Farm to Plate Communications Manager
Lydia Pitkin, Office Manager & Program Coordinator
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director

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Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, 3 Pitkin Court, Suite 301E, Montpelier, VT 05602