Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund Grants

Salvation Farms 2018 grant recipient
Salvation Farms, 2018 HMCCF grant recipient

Hunger Mountain Co-op is a member-owned, community-based natural food cooperative. Our co-op is committed to building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce. One way we make that mission a reality is through the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund (HMCCF).

Since 2011, the HMCCF has distributed a total of $58,425 in community grants to our central Vermont community. These funds would not have been possible without the generosity of our member-owners and shoppers, who contribute to the fund, along with support from Twin Pines Cooperative Community Fund and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.

“In recent years, grants from the Co-op have made a huge difference for several dozen wonderful projects in our communities,” says Matt Levin, a long-time Co-op member who serves on the HMCCF committee. “These have included educational projects on food and nutrition, planting community gardens and orchards, helping new food-related businesses get started and established, construction of key infrastructure projects like community kitchens, and supporting efforts to ensure everyone has access to healthy food.”

Matt Levin, HMCCF Committee

In 2019, three community grants totaling $5,500 were awarded to the following organizations.

Capstone Community Action
Capstone Community Action provides comprehensive services to help people achieve economic well-being with dignity and develops partnerships to strengthen Vermont communities. They are committed to alleviating the suffering caused by poverty, to work with individuals and families to move out of poverty, and to advocate for economic justice for all Vermonters.

With their $1,500 community grant, they will purchase three new wire carts for assisting customers with transporting food to their vehicles. These carts will improve access to food, especially for older Vermonters, families with young children, and individuals with mobility issues. The carts will also improve efficiency for workers stocking the food shelf.

The Family Center of Washington County
The Family Center of Washington County has been providing support services to families since 1994. From playgroups to early intervention services, to job development for parents, the diversity of help available to families is invaluable.

The Family Center applied for a grant to increase access to fresh, local foods. They received a $1,500 community grant for building raised beds and establishing perennial fruit bushes, vines, and trees. The grant will also help to purchase kid-sized gardening tools so the whole family can get involved with healthy eating at the ground level – literally! Once spring rolls around, they’ll start working on these new additions to the landscape.

Herb Craft, LLC
The seed for Herb Craft, LLC was planted in 2016 when founder Dejung Gewissler was inspired to make a medicinal soda for one of his son’s friends who had the sniffles. Now, he crafts several flavors of sparkling herbal drinks, each with a clearly intended impact. Drawing on a long tradition of apothecary sodas, he is determined to make herbal medicine delicious and accessible.

Herb Craft is using its $2,500 community grant to add much-needed refrigeration and freezer storage capacity to its commercial kitchen in Middlesex, VT. A stand-alone commercial refrigerator and stand-alone commercial freezer will be installed and ready for the 2020 growing season. Herb Craft frequently gets requests for unique flavor combinations – think berry and root crops – and would like to source these ingredients as locally as possible. Cold storage has been the missing link to accomplish this. With their new capacity, they will significantly increase the amount of local ingredients they use, and it will allow them to bring unique medicinal beverages to a broader market.

Are you interested in helping fund future central Vermont community grants? Now through March 29, round up your total to the nearest dollar to support the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund through the Co-op’s Give Change register round-up program. Fill out our opt-in form or visit our customer service desk to be asked at the register to round up your purchase every time you shop.