Lund VT: Growing Food, Growing Families, Growing Hope

Grant Amount: $4,700

Lund’s Mission:  Helping children thrive by empowering families to break cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse.  Lund offers hope, opportunity and family through education, treatment, family support, and adoption.  

Lund’s goal is to help families by providing the needed resources and support to alter patterns of abuse or addiction, and break out of the cycle of poverty to create brighter futures for their children.  We do this through family centered, integrated adoption, clinical treatment, and family support programs.  We work statewide to reach over 5,400 Vermonters every year.  

Lund offers a residential program for pregnant and parenting women offering substance use and mental health disorder treatment.  It is the only residential program in Vermont where moms can live with their children while engaging in treatment.  Lund also offers outpatient treatment and assessment services.  Lund is a parent child center offering parenting education, early childhood education, high school completion for pregnant and parenting students, transitional housing, and support for incarcerated moms and their children.    Lund’s adoption program offers private infant adoption and works with the state to find forever families for children in foster care. 

Growing Food, Growing Families, Growing Hope

Over the past few years, Lund’s New Horizons Educational Program (NHEP) and the Lund’s Early Childhood Education Program (LECP) have collaborated to create a garden space that acts as a catalyst for teaching young pregnant or parenting moms and preschool-aged children about gardening and the local food movement. The garden is comprised of eight raised beds, an outdoor classroom area, and two water barrels. In this space our students not only learn about planting, weeding, watering, feeding and harvesting of vegetables, but they also learn about the importance, and more importantly the possibility of incorporating locally sourced food into their daily diets.  Students get to witness the plants being started from seed and growing into harvestable food. Food from our gardens is used in cooking classes and to supplement our lunch/snack program. 

As a part of our collaborative local food curriculum, we also incorporate multigenerational field trips to Shelburne Orchards. These field trips provide opportunity for our students to try foods to which they otherwise might not be exposed, as well as give our high school students an opportunity to practice stewardship as they share this experience with the preschool children. In the days after our orchard experience, the preschoolers join our high school students in the NHEP kitchen to make food using the apples harvested days before. 

NHEP and LECP are looking to expand the gardening program. We want to bolster the collaborative opportunities between our two programs so that their reach into the community becomes even greater.