Common Roots

Food Security and Food Sustainability through the Farmstand at the Food Shelf 

2023 Grant Amount: $4,000

While South Burlington is home to many upper middle-income families, the city has one of the most skewed income distributions in Chittenden County.  Currently, 26.8% of South Burlington K-12 students are eligible for free lunch based on family income. During times of economic uncertainty, people experience layoffs and reductions in working hours. Families experiencing these challenges may not have savings and may not qualify for federal nutrition programs. They depend on the food shelf during these crises. Common Roots provides organically grown food from their farm to families facing food insecurity through their Farmstand at the Food Shelf+ Program, located at the South Burlington Food Shelf.  

In addition to distributing organic food at the food shelf, Common Roots teaches families and households to maximize the food they cultivate. Common Roots also provides education and support for families looking to grow some of their own food at home. On the farm, Common Roots hosts engaging learning activities and offers Farmstand Dollar incentives to families.  They meet new families every week.

With a Seedling Grant, Common Roots aims to strengthen families’ food supplies by increasing their growing capacity.  At the same time, they hope to bolster their food education and food growing programs. These programs have a huge impact for families’ resilience as they teach families to maximize the use of fresh food from the food shelf, give them potted plants to grow at home, encourage them to visit our farm to learn how to grow their own food. Through this combination of material and learning supports, families achieve better nutrition, connection to place, and reduced stress, fear and hunger. 

Common Roots hold two organic certifications, NOFA and ROP (Real Organic Project). They are one of 30 to 40 farms selected to support seed saving for the Abenaki Nation.