Since 2011, the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund has distributed a total of $73,578 through 59 community grants. These annual grants provide financial support to businesses, organizations, and initiatives that further the Co-op’s mission of building dynamic communities of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce.
Providing grants to support projects that enrich our central Vermont community is one of the ways our co-op realizes its mission. These resources would not have been possible without the generosity of our member-owners, who contribute to the fund, and 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, MEMBER-OWNER
Seven organizations benefitted from our 2020 community grants, for a total of $15,753 donated. The recipients were:
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.
If you are in central Vermont, have a project that fits within our mission, and are looking for modest financial support, we would love to hear about it.
Applications for 2021 grants from the Community Fund are now available here and in the Co-op’s exit way.
Awards range from $250 to $3,000, and priority is given to smaller-scale projects that support local food systems. Completed applications are due by Tuesday, Sept. 7. Grant recipients will be announced at the Co-op’s Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 4.
If you would like to support our work, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the fund. Checks should be made out to Hunger Mountain Co-op with HMCCF on the memo line and dropped off at our customer service desk or mailed to the Co-op at:
Hunger Mountain Co-op
623 Stonecutters Way
Montpelier, VT 05602