Location: Windham County
Website: Food Connects
Numbers of Vermonters Impacted: 7,000
Date: September 01, 2016
Contributed By: VSECU
Food Connects is a catalyst for food system change in New England and beyond. They work with community, state, and federal partners to cultivate healthy food and farm connections in classrooms, cafeterias, and communities in and around Windham County.
Darlene Phillips is the food service director of Cafe Services at Ludlow Elementary, Mt. Holly Elementary, and Black River Middle/High School. She and the schools that employ her have been able to improve the lunch experience for students at these schools due to their relationship with Food Connects. “I just LOVE my new tools!” she says. “I’m also really looking forward to the two trainings that Food Connects will be offering this fall. I’m looking for some new tips and techniques for using the immersion blender and food processor for repurposing more foods into tasty leftovers. Having these new kitchen tools and the support of Food Connects and Windham Farm & Food, delivering local food right to my back door, has made it possible for me to serve healthy local foods to my students…food that I am proud of.”
In a region in which one in four children faces food insecurity, school meals are sometimes the only substantial food students eat each day. Food Connects will use the $5,000 donation to improve over one million school meals for roughly 7,000 students at more than 30 schools annually. They will continue working with local school chefs to provide training, better equipment, and affordable, convenient access to fresh, local food. In addition to distributing local food educational materials, Food Connects will work with school administrators and teachers to support efforts to increase food, farm, and nutrition education and to increase school meal participation.