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. 

Rally for Change40% Partner (every month):

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf


December's 50% Partner:

Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS)

The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) has been a lifeline for vulnerable Vermonters for more than 30 years. They’ve have kept hundreds of homeless families with children and individuals from the streets – through shelter and homelessness prevention. COTS is a private Vermont nonprofit, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. At COTS, the mission is twofold: to meet the urgent needs of people who are homeless and to end to homelessness entirely. 

COTS has been recognized nationally for their innovative prevention initiatives and housing programs. As the largest service provider in Vermont for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, they’ve served nearly 2,800 people (including about 800 children) through shelter, outreach, prevention services, and transitional and permanent housing this past year. The COTS Housing Resource Center is a homelessness prevention program that helps households in financial crisis avert homelessness or move more quickly into housing. Last year, COTS helped 926 people, including 364 children, with prevention or rehousing outreach and support.

COTS also operates two family shelters, two overnight shelters and a daytime center for single adults, and four facilities providing permanent and transitional housing. COTS’ family shelters provide special programming for children, including “book buddies,” tutoring, healthy snacks and meals, and other educational enrichment. 


December's 10% Partner:

Shelburne Farms (Junior Iron Chef Vermont)

Jr Iron Chef Vermont is a statewide culinary competition that challenges teams of middle and high school students to create healthy, local dishes that inspire school meal programs. The intended outcome is to empower Vermont students to develop healthy eating habits through the use of whole, local foods. Recipes are integrated into school menus, teams visit the farms that supply their ingredients, and food service staff become local food heroes. Establishing a connection to food is a critical step towards developing lifelong healthy eating habits. This connection is formed—or reinforced—for students through Jr Iron Chef VT by interacting with local farmers as they source ingredients, designing recipes that highlight local ingredients, and cooking whole, local foods from scratch.

The Jr Iron Chef competition is held once a year, however its influence and impact extends well beyond the event. Teams begin to gather in September. They develop recipes, learn basic cooking techniques, and explore new foods. Once a recipe is chosen, students practice an average of six times, with increasing accuracy and confidence at every meeting. When the event began in 2008, 35 teams participated. This year, 270 students from every corner of the state competed on 64 teams! Over the past seven years, approximately 1,920 Vermont students have crafted original recipes that highlight local and seasonal ingredients and inspire school meal programs. Over 900 spectators witness the competition itself. Along the way, towns across the country have taken note and replicated this model, expanding our reach beyond Vermont. 

It costs $500 per team to run this event. With 75 teams participating, the total adds up. There has been success with keeping the entry free affordable for all teams who wish to participate, but that is made possible only through the generous support of sponsors and donors.


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:

  • 40% to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, every month

  • 50% 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.