What is VT FEED?
VT FEED grew out of a belief that the growing disconnect from our land, our food, and our agricultural roots was neither healthy nor sustainable, and that we could simultaneously promote the resurgence of local farms and increase equitable access to fresh, healthy food for all children through education and outreach in schools.
Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) raises awareness about healthy food, good nutrition, and the role of Vermont farms and farmers in helping sustain a healthy community.
We do this by helping to grow robust farm to school programs, acting as a catalyst for rebuilding healthy food systems, and cultivating links between classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and local farms.
Founded in 2000, VT FEED is a project that grew out of the partnership between three Vermont nonprofit organizations with a long history in sustainable agriculture: Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Shelburne Farms, and FoodWorks at Two Rivers Center. FEED is currently managed by NOFA-VT and Shelburne Farms.
We believe …
- all children and members of their communities should have access to safe, affordable, healthy, and nutritious foods
- healthy diets and hands-on learning positively and directly impact students’ academic performance
- farm and food curriculum gives children the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices and improve family purchasing and eating patterns
- local agriculture is important historically and for the future to the local economy, environment, and culture
- through growing, harvesting, and preparing foods, children gain confidence, develop critical thinking skills, and feel a sense of power and control over their own health and food choices
- all communities should be invested in their school food systems
- provide training, mentoring, professional learning and technical assistance to schools, food service staff, farmers, and nonprofit organizations working to build strong farm to school programs
- develop tools, resources, and evidence-based best practices in the areas of food literacy and curriculum, nutrition and cafeteria practices, local purchasing and procurement, and program development
- conduct research to inform food system investments and develop new market opportunities for Vermont farmers and food businesses through institutional purchasing
- raise community awareness by organizing events like Jr Iron Chef VT to make youth voices more visible in food system change
- advocate for strong statewide and national policies supporting farm to school work
- coordinate and serve as the Northeast Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network to build a strong farm to school movement and to strengthen our collective impact
- coordinate the Vermont Farm to School Network to facilitate local connections, foster local engagement, and work to increase farm to school initiatives in the state