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

July'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.

July's 40% Partner:

Vermont Fresh Network

The Open Farm Week planning team and the Vermont Fresh Network would like to thank everyone at City Market and Rally for Change for helping us launch a successful fourth annual Vermont Open Farm Week - August 13th – 19th! Open Farm Week draws Vermonters and visitors out into Vermont’s beautiful working landscape to meet and learn from our farmers.

Open Farm Week is an opportunity for Vermont farms to spotlight their business and showcase their products. By holding a weeklong event, we let farmers choose the time and type of event that works best for them. Farms may feature tours, workshops, draft animal demos, tastings, scavenger hunts, or on-farm dinners. We provide road signs, posters, flyers, marketing best practices and technical assistance to help participating farms organize and promote their events alongside our dedicated communications team. 

Our third Open Farm Week was held in 2017, and had 44 farms host 102 agricultural events in one week in August! After the event, we surveyed

participating farmers, 87% of the responding participants wanted us to organize

OFW again in 2018,  82% of responding farms said OFW was helpful in attracting new customers; and 85% said it was helpful for educating customers about farms and food.

The strength in this event draws from the reach and commitment of our diverse team that includes our premiere sponsors City Market/Onion River Coop and our organizing partners NOFA-VT and Vermont Farmers Market Association; University of Vermont Extension; Farm to Plate Network; Vermont Fresh Network; DigInVT; Shelburne Farms and the Farm-Based Education Network; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

All schedules and events for Vermont Open Farm Week can be found at www.DigInVt.com.

The Vermont Fresh Network manages DigInVT.com, the virtual home to Open Farm Week. DigInVT is a collaborative project between Vermont’s statewide producer associations to provide on online portal to authentic food and farm experiences across Vermont. DigInVT makes it easy for Vermonters and visitors to connect with farmers and learn more about our local food system any time of year, with place profiles, events listings, customizable trails, and suggested itineraries. In addition to this program, the Vermont Fresh Network offers professional development opportunities and marketing connections to a network of local chefs, farmers, and food producers. We connect consumers with the people who  make Vermont an exciting and delicious place to explore, and build a shared goal of supporting local food through where we spend our dining dollars.

July's 10% Partner:

Vermont Cheese Council

The Vermont Cheese Council is a non-profit trade association committed to the promotion and production of quality Vermont made cheese.  They accomplish this through the education of their members with food safety focused programs, business development programs, and master cheese workshops.  They promote education for cheese professionals, mongers and retailers, as well as consumers through a variety of programs that focus on the Vermont working landscape, the cultural significance of the Vermont dairy farming families, and the value of the Vermont brand.  They accomplish our educational outreach by hosting cheese professionals, mongers and retailers in the state of Vermont, by sponsorship in organization like the American Cheese Society and The Good Food Foundation, and through consumer outreach through their website, their Vermont Cheese Trail Map, and their Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival.

The council is supported through membership dues, state and federal grants, but primarily through the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival which makes up over 63% of their annual funding.  The Vermont Cheesemakers festival is the largest single gathering of Vermont Cheese Council members, along with local and regional artisan food producers.  The event has been listed as a “Top Ten Summer Food Festival in the United States for the past 5 years, recognized by Fodor’s Travel, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Yankee Magazine, and most recently by USA Today. 

The Festival will be held at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms on August 12 from 10 AM until 4 PM.  Along with the cheese and artisan food, educational workshops and cooking demos are offered to the attendees.  The festival has sold out year after year, and functions mainly due to its incredible volunteers. 

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.