Cold storage brings increased capacity to hunger relief

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Cold storage brings increased capacity to hunger relief

Thu, 04/22/2021 - 4:09am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Intervale Center and the Vermont Foodbank are partnering to construct a cold storage building onsite at the Intervale Center to store gleaned and rescued produce for donation.

The produce stored will come primarily from the gleaning of the Intervale’s tenant farms as well as from the People’s Farm, which was started by the Intervale Center last year in response to growing food insecurity in the community.

The Intervale Center’s free CSA program, the Fair Share distributes gleaned food from Intervale farms and farms in Chittenden County every week from July through October to 200 households and 12 social service agencies. Accessing fresh fruits and vegetables is a struggle for many Vermont families; barriers include cost, transportation, and the time and knowledge to shop and cook. At the same time, up to 40% of all produce grown in the United States is rejected before it reaches market due to cosmetic imperfections or overproduction.

This new cold storage facility will support the Vermont Foodbank and the Intervale Center’s gleaning programs and will allow the Vermont Foodbank to support distribution beyond Chittenden County. It also meets the long-time need to capture the abundance of seconds grown in the Intervale and store it until it can be distributed throughout the charitable food system, bringing fresh, local food to more people.

“Since the start of the pandemic,” says Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles, “1 in 3 Vermont residents have experienced hunger — which is unprecedented. We are extremely excited for the addition of the new cooler, which will allow for more fresh food to be stored and distributed to the community and help ensure everyone gets the nutritious food they need to feed their family.”

The Intervale Center is a Vermont-based farm and food organization with over 30 years of leadership experience. We work in Vermont and nationally to address massive challenges, including hunger and malnutrition, farm viability, water quality, and climate change. Learn more at www.Intervale.org.

The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of 215 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, and after-school programs, and directly to families, children, older adults, and individuals at schools and hospitals. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided 11.7 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. Learn more at www.vtfoodbank.org.

Source: VERMONT (April 21, 2021) — The Intervale Center