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 August, you collectively donated $23,353.38

  • $11,676.69 for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
  • $9,341.35 for SEABA
  • $2,335.34 for Champlain Community Servies

September's 50% Partner: 

Co-op Seedling Grants

When you choose to round up during the month of September, 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!

September's 40% Partner:

Feedling Chittenden (formerly Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf)

In 2018, CEFS embarked on a listening campaign to gather input on our future direction from our program participants, neighbors, volunteers, donors and other stakeholders. Through this campaign, we collected information on the changing needs of those we serve and our role in the broader community. 

Feedback from these sessions focused on our role as a source of food, community and opportunity for those we serve. 

We also heard over and over during these listening sessions that we were seen by both those we serve and those we work with as “more than a Food Shelf” and that the scope of our programs was not accurately reflected in our name. 

The feedback we received through our listening sessions mirrored the experiences that we have had regularly with community members – including our guests, volunteers, supporters, etc. – who are nearly always surprised during their first visit to our organization when learning about our variety of programs, the volume of people who we serve every day and our mission of providing more than just food to people who are facing food insecurity and hunger. 

While we operate the Chittenden Food Shelf as our cornerstone program, we also operate the following programs and services:

            - Good Food Truck: bringing meals, groceries and outreach services to local neighborhoods throughout Chittenden County

            - Homebound Grocery Delivery: helping older adults and people with disabilities who are homebound access our services through deliveries of groceries and prepared meals

            - Food Rescue: fighting food waste locally by working with local markets and farmers to save ~10,000 lbs of edible, nutritious food every month 

            - Hot Meal Program:  operating 6 days a week and profviding thousands of fresh, buffet-style meals each month

            - Community Kitchen Academy: providing culinary job training and support to people who are un-employed through a partnership with the Vermont Foodbank

            - Service Coordination: providing program referrals, case work and support to our guests who need additional services. 

After working with FourNine Design to explore rebranding, we determined that the name “Feeding Chittenden” would better reflect the varied work and advocacy we undertake to help all members of our community who are facing food insecurity and hunger. 

“Feeding Chittenden” has long been our website URL – www.feedingchittenden.org – and has been our tag on our various social media channels. Our supporters in the community are already familiar with this name, and we hope that this will ease our transition. 

Our History:

In operation since 1974, Feeding Chittenden was founded as the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. This new organization was created to help fight hunger and food insecurity faced by households in our area. The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf initially operated a small pantry program that provided a three-day supply of groceries to households once per month. 

In response to a growing need for hunger relief services over the years, our organization has relocated twice to larger sites, including its 1994 move into its current location. Following our latest move to 228 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf began serving a hot breakfast every weekday and expanding support and outreach services for our clients. In 1998, the Homebound Delivery Program was launched to help low-income, homebound seniors and adults with disabilities access our services. 

In 2009, CEFS partnered with the Vermont Foodbank to operate the 1st session of Community Kitchen Academy (CKA). CKA was designed to address two critical needs: providing low-income Vermonters with professional culinary job training and job placement support, and providing high-quality, nutritious meals at no cost to food-insecure Vermonters. 

In 2015, the Good Food Truck hit the road for the first time to expand healthy food access and critical outreach services to underserved, low-income communities throughout Chittenden County. This program now serves thousands of meals each year and provides outreach services throughout the area. 

In 2018, CEFS embarked on a listening campaign to gather input on our future direction from our program participants, neighbors, volunteers, donors and other stakeholders. Through this campaign, we collected information on the changing needs of those we serve and our role in the broader community. Feedback from these sessions focused on our role as a source of food, community and opportunity for those we serve in Chittenden County. 

In 2019, our organization changed its name to Feeding Chittenden to better reflect the varied work and advocacy we undertake to help all members of our community escape food insecurity and hunger. 

September's 10% Partner:

Vermont Land Trust

Do you love the farms and forests that make Vermont special? Land conservation has played an important role in keeping our rural landscape vibrant. Since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust has permanently conserved nearly 2,000 parcels of land covering more than 593,000 acres, or 10 percent of the land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 900 working farms and farmland parcels, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and many properties important to communities, such as town forests and swimming holes. As a member-supported, nonprofit land conservation organization, the Vermont Land Trust helps individual landowners, communities and local land trusts achieve their conservation goals. This conservation work changes the lives of families, invigorates farms, launches new businesses, maintains scenic vistas, encourages recreational opportunities, and fosters a renewed sense of community. For more information or to become a member, contact: Vermont Land Trust, 8 Bailey Avenue, Montpelier, VT 05602, (802) 223-5234. 

CONNECTED FORESTS

We must do our part to keep Vermont’s forests whole and viable. The impact of development, shifts in population, and climate change will significantly alter our forests. Vermont’s Northern Forest is one of the nation’s last intact forested landscapes, well known for sugaring, wildlife, foliage, and recreation. Forestland plays a vital role in the regeneration of natural resources—filtering water, storing carbon, producing oxygen, rebuilding soils.

With our forests providing all these benefits, VLT has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to do our part to keep them whole and viable. This is why we protect important forestland with conservation easements that keep forests connected, while also ensuring they remain available for logging and sugaring. We are accelerating our work, and joining with many partners, to protect the most important working forestland and to create community forests, because right now we can make a difference for the future of our forests—for our economy and our health, for wildlife, and for the climate.

VIBRANT FARMS

The greatest risk to a farm’s future is during times of change. Vermont agriculture is transforming around us, in ways that are creating uncertainty for many farmers and farm communities. Farmers are looking to VLT for support in making transitions that keep the land active and in use. Recently, we have had many more requests for help from farmers who own conserved land and want to sell or lease their farm due to low milk prices or upcoming retirement. With the average age of Vermont farmers now at 57, we expect much more land to change hands in the next decade. At the same time, we have a list of 300 farmers who are looking to buy land.

We are focusing on farm transitions at this critical time because a farm’s future is at greatest risk during times of change. VLT supports existing farm businesses and helps retiring farmers transfer 

farmland to the next generation. In the past 10 years, we have helped transfer over $55 million in farm real estate to new and beginning farmers. They are bringing fresh energy and new ideas that are enriching Vermont’s farm economy and our communities. Working with partners, we are providing the financing, planning support, and ongoing technical assistance to help these farmers succeed. On this issue, VLT is leading the national conversation within the land trust community. With a changing farm sector, we believe that keeping land in agriculture will provide food and products that continue to enhance local economies and the quality of life of our communities.

CLEAN WATER

We must use land conservation to protect water quality We all need clean water for drinking, growing food, swimming, fishing, and for our health and safety. In Vermont, there is increasing urgency for us to consider how we protect water. We are working towards a future in which everyone has access to clean water; forested headwaters absorb water during extreme storms, protecting downstream homes and businesses; Lake Champlain recovers from its phosphorus loading; wetlands and marshes are healthy; and we can all enjoy our many lakes and rivers. Clean water is a priority in VLT’s work both because it is critical for Vermont, and because as a land trust, we can make a difference. Nearly 90 percent of the properties that VLT has conserved have frontage along, or lie within 20 feet of, a stream or river. We must use land conservation and stewardship to protect water—for today, and for future generations

We have strong partnerships with more than 2,000 landowners across Vermont. Through these relationships, we can begin the conversation about land use options that will make a difference to the health of our water. We are adding special water quality protections on all significant water features we conserve, retroactively adding these protections to older conservation easements when possible, and using the latest mapping technology and scientific knowledge when making decisions that impact water. We seek a balance between ecological protection, economic viability, and recreation. We will continue to innovate, and consider how we can do more to address Vermonters’ needs for clean water.

MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS

We can support a community’s connection to the land when we begin by listening. Having protected nearly 10 percent of Vermont’s land, we feel an increased responsibility to be a true partner to the communities we work with. Not everyone has access to land, and for some, access is very limited. When decisions are made about how land is used, not all voices are always heard.  Community vitality and health are possible when all of our neighbors feel connected to each other and to a place that is important to them. We are making a thoughtful effort to truly understand what people need from the land in their communities and what they need from their statewide land trust. When people have a say in how land is used, they have a deeper connection to, and responsibility for, the health of that land. We can support a community’s connection to the land when we begin by listening.

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.