Vital Communities has received a two-year, $79,000 grant from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program to increase direct sales for Upper Valley food producers through consumer education and community collaborations. Part of a $52 million USDA effort to grow organic and local food economies, this is the first-ever direct federal grant for the White River Junction, Vt.-based nonprofit organization.
“We are excited to put these dollars to work in service of our farms and communities, to create even stronger connections between local consumers and the source of their food,” said Vital Communities Valley Food & Farm Program Manager Becka Warren.
Vital Communities will use the funds to create a visible campaign in support of Upper Valley farms, to give consumers tools to help them access and prepare local foods (in collaboration with Rutland Area Farm and Food Link), and to give farms marketing support across the region. The Valley Food &Farm Guide, for 10 years the mainstay of local-food shoppers in the Upper Valley, will be the centerpiece of the campaign.
For more information on Vital Communities’ Valley Food & Farm program and its efforts to help keep agriculture a vital part of Upper Valley life, visit VitalCommunities.org/Agriculture. For details on the USDA grant program, visit USDA.gov.Press Release provided by Vital Communities.
Vital Communities, a nonprofit organization based in White River Junction, Vt., brings together citizens, organizations, and municipalities to take on issues where an independent voice and regional approach are essential. Working together, we make our region a better place to live, work, and play. Learn more at VitalCommunities.org.
Photo: Suzanne Long, Luna Bleu Farm