Downtown Winooski: Summer Meals Program

2017 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants

Downtown Winooski: Summer Meals Program - Initial Grant Award: $7,500.00 (actual check: $9,163.30).

"Downtown Winooski is committed to a long-term comprehensive growth and revitalization effort and seeks to make Downtown Winooski a better place to live, visit, work, shop, do business, dine and be entertained. There are many opportunities for community members to become involved."

2018 Update:

The Winooski Farmers Market is small but mighty. We have a loyal following of regulars. Our market supported 139 SNAP Customers, distributing $1,226 in Snap currency that was matched with crop cash. Many of those customers bring kids who regularly participate in the Summer Meals Program. This past year, City Market enabled the program with a generous grant that funded our POP (Power of Produce) Club Coordinator, Anastasia Tserkeris, and the meals and activities she curated that brought kids back to the market Sunday after Sunday. 

Anastasia is a senior at UVM and had this to say about the program:

As the POP Club Coordinator of the Winooski Farmers Market, I saw firsthand the impact of engaging children with their local food system and connecting them to healthy, nutritious meals. Because I study food systems and nutrition at the University of Vermont, I understand the importance of federal nutrition assistance programs on the livelihoods of families and the health of developing children. However, being in person and offering children lunch and a place to learn and ask questions about their food is the best way to truly be engaged in the community and understand the impact of the Summer Meals program. I had many children who came on a weekly basis to come pick up a meal. Mothers would often come by and tell me they had heard of our program, and thank me for being there to offer their children a bite to eat. Oftentimes, parents would be hesitant to give the child their meal expecting to pay a fee, and became quickly elated when I let them know there was no cost. This program is especially crucial because in the summer children are not going to school where they might get a free or reduced lunch. Skipping meals can stunt brain development and growth and create long term negative health impacts for children. I have seen the impact of this program and have felt the gratitude from Vermont families for keeping their children fed.

City Market did not stop there-- our Farmers Market runs on volunteer power. Our Market Manager is eternally grateful for the regular City Market volunteers.