At Hunger Mountain Co-op, we value our local food system and strive be a supportive member of our community. One way we do this is through the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund (HMCCF). Since 2011, the HMCCF has distributed a total of $73,578 in grants to our central Vermont community. We have supported endeavors ranging from establishing community gardens to supporting local businesses. We are proud of the work our partners do and always look forward to each year’s projects.
These grants would not be possible without the generosity of our member-owners and shoppers, who contribute to the fund through our Give Change program, 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 2020, seven community grants totaling $15, 153 were awarded to the following organizations.
Bethany United Church
Bethany Church has provided a weekly community lunch for over 25 years. This year, when so many services shut down due to Covid-19, it felt particularly important to not only keep these meals coming, but to expand capacity to reach more people. Their grant of $1,740 helped make improvements to their kitchen allowing them to continue to serve our community in this time.
Community Emergency Relief Volunteers (CERV)
CERV used their grant of $1,790 to purchase an industrial freezer for their food shelf. This freezer allows them to accept donations of perishable items, broadening the scope of what they can offer food shelf recipients.
Greenfield Highland Beef
When farmers markets shut down due to Covid-19, the folks at Greenfield Highland Beef wanted to continue to offer their products to folks who were not comfortable coming into stores. With a $2,500 grant from HMCCF, they were able to install a freezer with secure and safe access to allow customers to pick up their food in a contact-less environment.
Curly Girl Pops
Areallas, founder of Curly Girl Pops, has a vision. Not only does she create healthful, plant-based treats, she wants others to be able to bring their products to market. She is building a mobile certified commercial kitchen so that other makers have a space to create and launch their food-based creations. A $2,500 grant from HMCCF is helping to make that happen.
The Growing Peace Project
At the Growing Peace Project, they look for gaps in the local food system, and work to fill them. Partnering with numerous local organizations such as schools, churches and food shelves, they can identify areas of need. From donating food from their own gardens to delivering home cooked meals to food shelves, they support those in need. With a $2,500 grant from HMCCF they are able to continue these heroic efforts.
East Calais Community Trust
The historical significance of the East Calais General Store cannot be understated. Since 1850, it had served as a hub of the community, providing both food and connection. When it closed in late 2019, the East Calais Community Trust stepped up to help. With tremendous community support they raised the funds to purchase the building and are now working on renovations to be able to open it once again. HMCCF contributed $2,500 to the effort.
Twin Valley Senior Center
Our elders have suffered significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only are they at higher risk from the disease, but they are also at risk of isolation and loneliness. The Twin Valley Senior Center gets this and worked hard to bring in the needed technology to keep people connected. With a $1,623 grant from HMCCF, they were able to purchase a Zoom subscription and the necessary hardware to run online programs as well as supplies for home delivery of meals.
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.