Community Harvest of Central Vermont (CHCV) is a volunteer-driven program bringing our community together through gleaning. We recover surplus food produced on Central Vermont farms that would otherwise be wasted. We redistribute this recovered food to feed those in our community who have limited access to healthy, fresh local food. The produce CHCV recovers comes from 30 farms and is donated to 17 recipient sites who are feeding over 8,000 individuals.
Our recipients include area food shelves, senior meal programs, and other programs including the Vermont Foodbank—all serving low-income Vermonters. These recipients are reporting a recent increase in the need for healthy food.
During 2017, thanks to the generosity of local farmers and volunteers, CHCV donated over 96,000 servings of healthy fresh food to Vermonters in need.
In addition, we provide a diverse group of community volunteers the opportunity to help their neighbors in need and gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the local food system. CHCV promotes community connections and involvement with farms by bringing people into farm fields to work together and learn how fresh food is grown in their community. Over 225 Central Vermont residents of all ages volunteered with CHCV in 2017.
As a member of the Vermont Gleaning Collective CHCV works to mentor and collaborate with other gleaning programs around Vermont in our joint goal of integrating the local and charitable food systems by recovering more of the local food surplus that is available on farms across Vermont.
VSECU funds would be used to build our capacity, adding staff in 2018 to allow CHCV to expand the quantity of food we donate. To date CHCV has donated over 116,000 pounds (approx. 348,000 servings) of fresh produce to 17 recipient partners that address the essential needs of Vermonters.
Staff would support expansion of existing partnerships with other gleaning organizations to move farms surplus from areas of the state with excess to others with more need, such as Washington County. These efforts and others will keep perfectly good food from going to waste, thereby using less resources and saving the environment. All food donations go to families and seniors that need more healthy food to meet their essential daily nutritional needs.