NEWPORT — Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS), a small nonprofit based out of Newport, has been working to fight ongoing COVID-19 related food insecurity while contributing to local economic recovery by connecting local farmers with the charitable food system.
Their local food hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct, works with more than 30 local farms and producers to distribute bulk local food to schools, institutions, restaurants, and grocery stores.
In an effort to serve an often isolated and remote area of the Kingdom, GMFTS partnered with NECKA Canaan to bring almost $1,000 worth of local food to distribute to the Canaan community in late August.
They used the Lunchbox food truck, a mobile free meal site for kids in the Northeast Kingdom, to transport all of the food and facilitate the distribution.
Funding for the purchase of the donated food came from the CARES Act and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).
Staff from GMFTS, the NEKCA Canaan food shelf manager Suzanne Routhier, and a few volunteers helped pack and organize the food into bags, and distribute to folks lined up in their cars.
In total, the distribution event served 40 households with fresh, local food.
The products purchased from Farm Direct for distribution included Hood milk, Butterworks Farm yogurt, Champlain Valley Orchard Apples, Bread from Jocelyn and Cinta’s bake shop, eggs from Maple Meadow Farm, and cheese from Nothin’ but Curd.
A local farmer in Canaan also donated freshly harvested tomatoes, potatoes, corn, squash, and cucumbers.