Rally for Change

Anytime you check-out at City Market, you can choose to "round up" your total to the nearest dollar. At the end of the month, we donate 50% of those funds to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, 40% to an organization that aligns with our Global Ends, and 10% to a local non-profit.

In May, you collectively donated $27,35501

  • $13,677.51 for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
  • $10,942.00 for the Vermont Community Garden Network
  • $2,735.50 for Make a Wish vermont

June's 50% Partner: 

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf

The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf is the largest direct service anti-hunger organization in Vermont. The Food Shelf provides critical nutrition assistance to more than 11,000 Chittenden County residents who struggle with food insecurity and hunger every year. Food Shelf programs provide groceries, hot meals, job training and support for thousands of our neighbors.

June's 40% Partner:

Co-op Seedling Grants

Now in its fifth year, the Co-op Seedling Grants Program has previously been supported through the generosity of our Members in the form of uncashed Patronage Refund Checks. Now that the South End store is open, we anticipate the Co-op will experience several years of unprofitability, which is completely expected during times of expansion and is part of our plans. While we will not be issuing Patronage Refund checks during unprofitable years, we wanted to ensure the continuity of the Co-op Seedling Grant Program. For the next several years, the Co-op Seedling Grants Program will be funded through our Rally for Change program. The Grants Program will be the 40% Rally for Change partner for three separate months in FY 2018 and FY 2019 to fund this year's Seedling Grants Program, starting with June.

When you choose to round up during the month of June, you are choosing to support local projects working to strengthen the food system through our Co-op Seedling Grants Program. Over the years, grant funding has been used to support the creation of farm to school programming at various locations, the construction of a fresh produce stand and mobile pantry trailer at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, trail extension and kitchen construction at the Intervale Center, a job training program at Salvation Farms, and many other worthy projects. Thank you for rounding up this month and helping us support the work of the many incredible organizations in our community!

Are you a Member who’s interested in serving on the Grants committee to review applications and make recommendations for funding to the Board? Learn more and apply here.

Who is the Center for Sustainable Agriculture?

The Center was founded in 1994 to engage in research and outreach to help Vermont move forward as a leader in sustainable agricultural practices.  Since that time they have engaged in countless outreach and applied research projects, helped launch new programs within UVM and the state at large, and have developed a transdisciplinary, systems-based approach to addressing needs in Vermont’s vibrant food system.

They research leading-edge practices and new approaches that help farmers and other food system stakeholders who are seeking profitability, incorporating environmentally regenerative practices, and addressing social and community-based food-related needs.  They are a proud part of UVM Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  They work in close collaboration with many colleagues on the UVM campus, in the broader community, and across the state and around the region.

Who Does the Center Work With?

They are glad to work with any farmers who are seeking to increase the sustainability of their operations, whether they are following conventional or organic agricultural practices, or other approaches.

Staff in their current programs serve:

• Farmers raising livestock on pasture, or seeking to transition to grass-based farming.

• New American farmers who are involved with the New Farms for New Americans program.

• Chefs and retail produce buyers interested in sourcing ingredients from New American farmers.

• Farmers seeking to address run-off and drainage or other on-farm water issues, or otherwise address the impacts of climate change.

• Farmers in the Connecticut River watershed in Vermont or New Hampshire interested in a problem-solving team to work with them on their farm .

• Farmers and partners interested in exploring the potential for sheep wool for insulation, upholstery and other industrial uses.

• Partners, communities and farmers involved with the Who Farms? community storytelling project.

• Potential collaborators and research partners within UVM Extension, other departments and colleges within UVM, in the region, around the country, and around the world.

About Rally for Change

In October 2014, City Market updated its program for collecting donations at the register! Previously, we selected a different non-profit each month and donated 5 cents for each bag our customers reused (our "Change for Local Non-Profits" program). Every register also included tear off coupons so customers could donate to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. In addition, each year in February we sold $1 Hearts for the Intervale Center and in September $1 Lunch Trays for Hunger Free Vermont, with all donations going to each respective organization. We've consolidated all of these programs into our new "Rally for Change" program which allows customers to "round up" their order at each register, each time they check-out at the Co-op.

In the name of education, opportunity, and streamlining how we do things here at the Co-op, we created a Rally for Change program! This program allows customers to “round up” their payment at the register (e.g., a $25.42 checkout could be rounded up to $26 for a $0.58 donation). The Co-op will then donate this “round up” change to a variety of local non-profits each month (so, not just one!) that are doing amazing work in our community. Want to round up to the nearest five or ten dollars? You can do that too! Each month, we’ll share who will be receiving the donations (in our newsletter, with store signage and through staff education).

With more than 4,000 transactions each day through our registers, we all have the opportunity to share what we think of as “small change” to rally for bigger community-wide change. This new Rally program will take the place of the “tear off” coupons we have at the registers and will also take the place of our Change for Local Non-Profits (or bag refunds) program.

Not to worry, a large percentage of each month’s donation will go to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and we anticipate that this program will actually increase their donations. Through this new program, we will also continue to offer donations to local non-profits that are on the waiting list for our previous "Change for Local Non-Profits" bag refund program (and any new ones that we add to the list!). Here’s how the donation percentages will work out each month:

  • 50% to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, every month

  • 40% to an organization that aligns with the Co-op’s Global Ends 

  • 10% to a local non-profit that may not directly align so closely with our Global Ends, but still works to make our community a better place (much like the Change for Local Non-Profits Program)

This new program gives our cashiers and staff an opportunity to engage with our customers and together we’ll both support and learn more about the organizations that make our community a better place to live. We’re excited to give it a try and are interested to hear what you think!

Past Recipients

Do you run a local non-profit that aligns with our Global Ends?

Your organization can apply to become a Rally for Change 10% Partner. We are currently filling slots 4 years out (it's a popular program and our community has many amazing non-profits!). Visit our donations page to learn how to apply.