Vermont is a leader in Farm to Institution efforts, initiated by our guidance in the Farm to School movement. What began as connecting students to local food in the cafeteria, classroom and their community has evolved to include other institutions like hospitals, health care facilities, colleges, universities, and correctional facilities.
Vermont has a growing number of schools interested in serving local food, nursing homes and hospitals purchasing directly from farmers, Vermont students familiar with farm to school efforts now in our state colleges and universities demanding increased local food options, and farmers looking to scale up to serve institutions in their community.
Farm to Institution in Vermont and the New England region is capitalizing on these opportunities by engaging our students, elderly and sick with producers, distributors, food hubs, and corporations in building a viable local food system. Connecting institutional customers with local farmers opens new markets for Vermont products and creates economic opportunity, improves community health, and helps preserve the working landscape.
Farm to Institution can serve as the necessary compliment to direct marketing routes of farmers’ markets and CSA’s for our local growers. Models and best practices are being developed and shared in communities across the country, as interest in local sustainably food continues to grow.