-The Burlington School Food Project
The Burlington School Food Project is Vermont's largest farm to school program, encompassing the entire Burlington School District. It is widely recognized as a model program for the rest of the state and country. Its mission is to connect students and their families with whole, fresh, and local foods to improve the health of the community. The district-wide effort employs a farm to school coordinator for its food service program and benefits from the varied input of multiple community partners: Burlington School District, Shelburne Farms? Sustainable Schools Project, Friends of Burlington Gardens and the Healthy City Youth Initiative, City Market/Onion River Co-op, Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED), and many dedicated community volunteers.
Originally funded with a USDA Community Food Project Grant in 2003, the city has been able to continue and expand on the work that the grant seeded the grant's original ending date of 2006. The district's food service sources local food both directly from growers and indirectly through its regular distributors, taking time to process local foods in season that can then be stored for use throughout the school year. Food Service also spearheads a food purchasing group, affording smaller schools? food service's access to greater buying power, as well as a district based CSA model to expand the local foods market and generate alternative sources of funding. Shelburne Farms? Sustainable Schools Project integrates education on local food and agriculture into the broader curriculum in Burlington, which ?helps schools use sustainability as an integrating context for curriculum, community partnerships, and campus practices.?