The COVID-19 crisis makes clear that our current food system is dangerously brittle. Now is the time to invest directly in the food system for an ecologically sound, regional, just, thriving agriCULTURE.
The fund will support both long and short term needs. In the near term, it will provide additional funds for our Farmer Emergency Fund to provide critical support for farmers in times of emergency to help them recover and ultimately become more resilient farmers, including but not limited to our dairy farmer relief milking effort. It will also help pay for additional NOFA-VT Farm Shares this season so more low-income and vulnerable Vermonters can have access to subsidized CSAs, and farmers continue to have robust markets. In addition, this fund will pay to secure technical assistance for businesses looking to adjust their marketing channels (for example learning how to do direct and online sales), protecting food access for all and ensuring viable businesses for farms at the same time. It will, in short, mitigate the very real harm facing our most vulnerable populations.
The fund also supports our longer term, systems-change work. We cannot return to business as usual after this crisis. We must take this moment of disruptive change to build programs and policies that lay the path to a healed food system with ecology and justice at its heart. This includes policy and advocacy work, convening innovative conversations, pushing public conversations about resilience, and providing community organizing and education efforts that will make us stronger on the other side.
- Sign up for a CSA share today to support a local farmer and get food all season long!
- Share these school meal delivery/pickup sites to ensure all our children are fed!
- Support the NOFA-VT Summer Farm Share Program, which offers subsidized CSA shares to limited-income Vermonters. Or apply for the program here.
- Shop at a farm stand to keep farms viable and access local food!
- Shop at a farmers market. PLEASE NOTE: We are providing best practices for farmers markets going forward to ensure the health and safety of their customers and vendors. As of March 24, the Governor's Executive Order has suspended farmers market operations, and we are working to advocate for the Governor to allow them to remain open with appropriate precautions, just like grocery stores. While we will be updating our online directory with details as best we can, we recommend you check the market’s website or Facebook page to see if they will be open.
- Order local food. Many partner organizations are still doing home delivery, and working to make food available to those who need it.
- Check out these food access resources for all. Seniors, you can call 1-800-642-5119 for support!
Please reach out to us if you have ideas or concerns that NOFA-VT staff might be able to help with! We are trying to adapt nimbly to address the needs of our producers, members, and community as they emerge. We are eager to be a part of the solution, and to help grow a food system that is local, resilient, and strongly interwoven.