Rally for Change

Anytime you check-out at City Market, you can choose to "round up" your total to the nearest dollar. Each month, that spare change is donated to three great non-profits that align with the Co-op's mission. 

50% Partner (every month):

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf


July's 40% Partner:

Vermont Fresh Network

Vermont Fresh Network and the Open Farm Week planning team would like to thank everyone at City Market and Rally for Change for helping us launch a successful third annual Vermont Open Farm Week – August 14th – 20th! 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 second Open Farm Week was held in 2016, and had 97 farms host 297 agricultural events in one week in August! After the event, we surveyed participating farmers, 100% of the responding participants wanted us to organize OFW again in 2017; 72% of responding farms said OFW was helpful in attracting new customers; and 91% 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’s vision is to build a flourishing Vermont food and farm economy. Our mission is to advance relationships among farmers, chefs, and consumers to grow markets and eat more locally grown food. The core values of VFN are ‘relationships matter’ -- integrity, collective understanding, and engagement. Alongside our various programs as Vermont Fresh Network, we also operate the website www.DigInVT.com. DigInVT is a portal to the state’s agriculture and culinary experiences – connecting consumers with the people and places that make Vermont an exciting and delicious destination.


July's 10% Partner:

Common Roots

Common Roots is a non-profit organization in South Burlington, VT with a dynamic mission to foster the relationships amongst farmers, educators, youth, families, and the wider community through place-based education and service programs. Our work is to provide several avenues for children, parents, staff and community to participate in food education from soil to consumption and to build the capacity to provide a growing volume of food for families, our schools, and our programs. Our stewardship strengthens and supports our local food systems, provides food security, and affirms our local environment. In doing so, we celebrate the soil and soul of our community and nurture our own common roots.

Programs and food cultivation include:

Community Food Shares - South Burlington's only food shelf, supporting over 30 families with fresh, organic veggies from our farm during the growing season with nutritious donated food year-round from local businesses.

Growing Gardens, Growing Kids - In partnership with local schools, afterschool & SB Park and Recreation summer programs, children visit our 50 organic, raised garden beds at the scenic Farm @ South Village.

Power of Produce (Pop) Club - Nationally recognized program empowering people to make their own healthy eating choices.  We provide a new recipe each week with taste tests from foods that come from our farm for families participating on our CSA offering.

Farm To Go - After school program offered in six-week courses for middle grade students.  They go home with the family meal each evening with the recipes and growing culinary skills.

Farm to School - Comprehensive Farm to School program delivered to all SBSD pre-school and elementary classrooms each month.

Nature-based Early Childhood Education programs - Opportunities for young children to learn on the land with an emphasis on nutrition.

Farm Stand & CSA - Growing organic food in three high tunnel hoop houses two greenhouses, and over six open acres, located within the Farm @ South Village, as well as on the Underwood property, both off Spear Street in So Burlington.


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 2 years out (it's a popular program and our community has many amazing non-profits!). Visit our donations page to learn how to apply.