All of us at the NOFA Vermont would like to invite you to give the gift of locally grown food to a hungry neighbor this holiday season by purchasing a Farm Share Gift Card.
More than 100,000 Vermonters lack access to enough food to fully meet their basic needs, according to Hunger Free Vermont. The NOFA Vermont Farm Share Program is a creative approach to building community food security while enhancing farm viability for local farms.
When limited-income families enroll in the Vermont Farm Share Program, NOFA-VT matches them with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in their communities. Each week for a season, they receive a portion of the farm’s harvest. NOFA–VT subsidizes 25% of the cost of the CSA shares, 25% is paid through funds raised by farms in their local communities, and the participant pays the remaining 50%. This unique program provided CSA shares to more than 500 people in 2013, as well as generating over $60,000 in income to farms
In order to reduce the cost of the CSA shares for the participating families, NOFA-VT raises funds through a few simple channels, including the Farm Share gift tag benefit. These gift cards are available for donations of $25 or more and include a beautiful Bonnie Acker art card, a plantable gift tag made from recycled paper embedded with a wildflower seed mix, and a brochure with details about the Vermont Farm Share Program. A donation of $25 leverages the funds to provide a season of fresh, local farm products to one person; a donation of $125 will bring a family of five into the program, while generating $500 in income to a working Vermont farm. Purchase several gift tags, and extend the gift of farm-fresh food to more limited-income Vermont families.
“The Farm Share Program is effective in many ways. It works to preserve the working landscape that keeps our state so beautiful and also brings fresh, local food to community members who need it most,” program coordinator Erin Buckwalter said. “The popularity of the program means we have a waiting list each season, and through our gift tag benefit we hope to bring next summer’s bounty to more families.”
During this holiday season, consider supporting the Vermont Farm Share Program by purchasing a gift tag. Hang it on a tree, tuck it into your guests’ table settings, attach it to a present, or mail it to your relatives to show them why you’re proud to live in a state that is actively fighting hunger while ensuring that the beautiful working landscape is here for generations to come.
To learn more about the Farm Share Program and to purchase gift tags, visit: nofavt.org/FSgift