Rally for Change
When you choose to round up during the month of December, 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!
Over the last year, Feeding Chittenden has pivoted from a congregate meal site to curbside pickup of pre-bagged and boxed groceries, as well as increased deliveries to older adults, people who have a disability, are sick or injured, or are unable to leave their home. Additionally, a hotline for emergency deliveries was created to get immediate hunger relief to households who could not visit our location and had nowhere else to turn for help.
In response to the inquiry around expanding food access, Feeding Chittenden is evolving from a Food Shelf to a Food Access Center, with the intent to reduce barriers for vulnerable Vermonters in need of assistance, including New Americans, Veterans, people of color, people experiencing homelessness, and children. Feeding Chittenden is helping to coordinate communities of practice around culturally responsive foods with the intent of introducing a more inclusive, human centered approach to food distribution. Our order-ahead online system will allow community members to go to our website, select the foods that best meet their needs, and then schedule a time to pick up groceries at our location in the Old North End or have them delivered right to their door. We are currently piloting this initiative with other programs within Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, our parent organization.
While our Food Shelf is our flagship program, we also operate the following programs and services:
- Grocery Delivery: helping older adults and people who stay at home due to limited mobility or fragile health 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: providing hot to-go meals each weekday morning
- Community Kitchen Academy: providing culinary job training and support to people who are un-employed through a partnership with the Vermont Foodbank
- Good Food Truck: serving meals, groceries and outreach services in collaboration with our CKA program
- Service Coordination: providing program referrals, case work and support to our guests who need additional services.
Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) has long been at the forefront of protecting animals. But, even with all the animal exploitation, abuse, injury, and neglect that GMAD volunteers face every day, the number one issue is a lack of awareness and education. Most humans do not consider the wealth of resources available to animals in need, the benefits of getting their pets spayed or neutered, the consequences of purchasing beauty products tested on animals, or the countless other issues that can be addressed through education and advocacy. It is difficult to look beyond the spectacle of a lion on display at a fair to understand the endless suffering of a wild animal that spends its life in a small cage so that its captors can profit, but understanding the animal’s perspective is crucial to bettering the world around us for not just one animal but all species.
Did you know that...
...Green Mountain Animal Defenders(GMAD) was instrumental in making it illegal for fairs in Vermont to give away fish as prizes? Many of the fish would die due to neglect or suffocation while in plastic bags, but because they were "just fish" and inexpensive, they were dispensable, and so very little effort was made to keep them alive or healthy.
...GMAD negotiated sustainable, humane solutions with UVM and Riverwatch Condos so that families of beavers could peacefully coexist with the community, improving local water quality and avoiding horrific death by conibear traps for the beavers?
...GMAD has raised money to spay/neuter over 58,000 animals since its inception? As a result, the number of homeless animals has been greatly reduced.
...every spring, GMAD rescues injured and sick hatchlings that are shipped across country in dangerous conditions to be sold at hardware stores? Sick or injured chicks, goslings, and ducklings cannot be sold and so would be destroyed if not for GMAD's intervention.
... GMAD's lost-pet alert has led to the recovery of hundreds of lost pets?
...GMAD led the movement to ban the for-profit merger Lions and Tigers
company from displaying these exotic, magnificent cats in small, cramped cages at the
Champlain Valley Fair? In addition to neglect and dire living conditions, these lions and tigers are subjected to overbreeding, leading to numerous health issues.
...GMAD assists in helping to get injured or orphaned animals to wildlife
rehabilitators all over the state year-round?