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Distribution 2

Coupon Program Helps Low-Income NEK Residents

Thursday, July 7, 2016

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The final report for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program, compiled by Wholesome Wave based off of information collected by the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has been released by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS). Read More…

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DONATE

Help Green Mountain Farm-to-School provide fresh, local food and nutrition education to Vermonters in the Northeast Kingdom. GMFTS is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible as provided by law.

Please make checks payable to Green Mountain Farm-to-School and mail to:

Green Mountain Farm-to-School
194 Main Street, Suite 301
Newport, VT 05855

ABOUT GMFTS

A leader in the growing farm-to-school movement in Vermont, Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) mission is to restore and strengthen local food systems in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont by promoting positive economic and educational relationships among schools, farms, and communities. We create healthy communities by working across the food system with capacity building, resource development, and technical assistance through GMFTS’ school gardens, Farm-to-School Program, food hub, food truck, and statewide marketing campaign.

OUR PURPOSE

The statistics about the health of our children are striking. 1 in 3 children is on track to develop type 2 diabetes. Researchers estimate for the 1st time in American history children will live shorter lives than their parents. Unless we do something to put this runaway food system back on track, we’re headed for the biggest and most expensive health care crisis we can imagine. 60,000 children in Vermont eat school food 5 days a week, getting more than half their calories from school lunch, school breakfast, and school snack. What we feed our kids in schools and what we teach them about food there affects how they grow, how they learn, what they will feed their own families, and how long they will live. School is where it all begins.

WHERE WE WORK

View the map key over here.

MEET THE STAFF

Katherine Sims

Founder and Executive Director

Katherine Sims is the founder and executive director of Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS). She started the organization in 2008 to improve childhood nutrition and support Vermont farms by connecting schools and farms through food and education – the organization has since grown exponentially. Katherine, who graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s in history, brings 10 years of experience building school gardens, connecting institutional buyers with local farms, teaching students about healthy food choices, and training school food service staff to prepare and serve local foods. She currently serves on several boards including UVM Extension, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Land Trust. She lives in Lowell, Vt. with her husband, Jeff, where they raise chickens, grow vegetables, and enjoy life with their sidekick cat, Oslo.

Catherine Cusack

Program Director

Catherine joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in 2013. As program director, she works in partnership with GMFTS program staff in delivering high quality programming, with an emphasis on improving food access, educating children and community members on the value of Vermont’s rich agricultural landscape, supporting farms, and building relationships to grow the reach of the organization. Since moving to Vermont in 2006, Catherine has advocated for equal access to healthy food and increased opportunities for all Vermonters. While caring for her two young children, she was a freelance health promotion consultant, completing projects focused on obesity prevention. She has a Master of Science degree in health promotion from the University of Montana. Catherine and her family live in Walden, where they love to garden, swim. and play in the snow.

Maire Folan

Farm-to-School Program Manager

Maire joined the team in 2014 to help lead the charge with Farm-to-School efforts, working closely with our fantastic coordinators. She received her bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire in environmental biology and nutrition. She went on to complete her Registered Dietitian Certification and received a master’s degree from Green Mountain College in sustainable food systems. She is thrilled to bring her love for food and farming to GMFTS. Prior to GMFTS, Maire has worked as a naturalist for the New Hampshire Audubon Society, in research and development for Stonyfield Farm and as a ski instructor at Crystal Mountain in WA. Maire hails from the Granite state, where she spent lots of time in the lakes, forests and mountains. You might find her digging into Vermont soils, swimming in beautiful NEK lakes, hiking among the rolling hills or enjoying area ski trails.

Becca Mitchell

Consumer Education Coordinator

Becca joined GMFTS in 2013. As consumer education coordinator, she is responsible for managing Vermont Harvest of the Month, a statewide campaign to promote local foods, and the Lunchbox, a summer food service program and mobile learning kitchen. Becca graduated from Moravian College of Bethlehem, Penn. in December of 2012 with a bachelor’s in environmental science. Before joining GMFTS, she spent time as a farm-based educator on Martha’s Vineyard, worked as support staff at an early education center in Burlington, and researched stream ecology in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. She is excited to continuing exploring the mountains, lakes, farms, and hidden gems of the Northeast Kingdom.

Shane Rogers

Communications and Development Coordinator

Shane Rogers joined GMFTS in 2015. As a communication and development coordinator Shane will be working to grow the public profile of the organization and showcase the work it’s doing across the state. He holds a bachelor’s in political science and communications with a concentration in journalism from the University of Dayton in Ohio. Coming to the Northeast Kingdom from Washington, D.C. he most recently worked as a legislative researcher and writer for CQ Roll Call. Shane has also worked as a reporter for The Press newspaper in Avon Lake, Ohio and as an assistant director for Grassroots Campaigns Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is excited to explore the many wonder of the Northeast Kingdom, hopefully find Narnia, and be part of a team working so diligently to reform the food system in Vermont.

Shay Farmer

Farm Direct Coordinator

Shay Farmer joined GMFTS in July of 2016 as the Farm Direct coordinator. She hopes to make purchasing from local farmers as easy as possible for individuals, public institutions, and local businesses. Shay holds a B.A. in political science from Arcadia University. She has spent the last four years working with farmers, distributors, institutions, and businesses in northwest Montana helping to grow the local food system. Shay enjoys delicious food, knitting, the outdoors, and spending time with her family.

Meghan Steward

Farm-to-School Coordinator, AmeriCorps

Meghan joined Green Mountain Farm-to-School in August of 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator she works to redefine the roles of children, famers, and schools in the food system through education and hands-on learning. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in community, environment, and development. She has a worked for a variety of organic farms through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) initiative and has spent five summers working for an outdoor education camp in Pennsylvania. In her free time, she is usually found hiking or biking and loves any activity that allows her to enjoy being outside and in nature.

Herb Page

Farm-to-School Coordinator, AmeriCorps

Herb joined GMFTS in August of 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator he works with schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, coordinating and implementing educational programs to engage students with local foods, healthy nutrition, and food systems. While attending Kenyon College in Ohio, Herb managed a community garden program and donated all produce grown to area food banks. After graduation he stayed in Ohio and helped run his university’s local food program. For the past three summers Herb apprenticed on organic grass and produce farms in Ohio and his home state of Minnesota. He loves getting his hands in the dirt and watching plants grow throughout the season. Herb is excited to be living in Vermont where there is easy access to the outdoors and fantastic cheese.

Caroline Aubry

Farm-to-School Coordinator, AmeriCorps

Caroline Aubry joined GMFTS in 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator, she works closely with teachers, parents, and farmers in the Northeast Kingdom to connect children to the local food system and promote healthy eating habits by facilitating taste tests, planning farm field trips, and leading in-class workshops. Caroline graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s in international studies and human rights. Before joining the GMFTS team, Caroline served as a part-time AmeriCorps member in Dayton, Ohio helping homeless youth lead self-sufficient lives by empowering them to overcome issues of food access. After graduation, Caroline traveled to Sangilo, Malawi to conduct an independent research study on food security. In her free time, Caroline enjoys long bike rides and kayak trips, good books, and baking with friends. She is thrilled to be living in such a beautiful area of Vermont with so much to offer, and looks forward to meeting and working with local community members.

Jeyna Diallo

Farm-to-School Coordinator, AmeriCorps

Jeyna Diallo joined GMFTS in 2015 as a farm-to-school coordinator. Her primary responsibilities are to deliver GMFTS educational programs to schools in the Northeast Kingdom such as taste tests, farm field trips, and in-class workshops, maintain school gardens, and to encourage partnerships between schools and local food providers. Jeyna graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in May with a bachelor’s in environmental studies. She wrote her senior thesis about farm-to-fork restaurants in Southern Maine, specifically on their partnerships with local farmers. Prior to joining the GMFTS team, Jeyna worked in her hometown, Alexandria, Va., as a farm camp counselor at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. She loves to cook and explore new places. Jeyna is thrilled to be back in New England and to take in all the natural beauty the Northeast Kingdom has to offer.

River Ostrow

Farm-to-School Coordinator, AmeriCorps

River Ostrow joined GMFTS in 2015. As a farm-to-school coordinator, River’s primary responsibilities are to encourage local food consumption through the development of relationships with local schools and the facilitation of programs such as taste-tests, farm field trips, and school gardens. River graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris with a bachelor’s in environmental studies and English. Prior to joining GMFTS, River worked at outdoor education centers teaching hands-on, experiential science classes. River has enjoyed gardening since she was young and has worked in multiple gardens including her university garden and a CSA farm in Wisconsin. River is thrilled to be combining her love of teaching and food and is excited to explore the beautiful, diverse communities of the Northeast Kingdom.

Ryann Collins

Nutrition and Agriculture Educator, AmeriCorps

Ryann joined the Green Mountain Farm-to-School crew in 2014 as a farm to school coordinator. She works in Northeast Kingdom schools to engage students in discussions and hands-on activities and to assist food service directors who are committed to local food purchasing and preparation in cafeterias. As a nutrition and agriculture educator, she participates in the unique food culture of the communities she serves and contributes to the development of a local food system that meets the interests and needs of the NEK. A recent graduate of Green Mountain College, Ryann received a bachelor’s in philosophy with an emphasis on agriculture and local food systems. Prior to joining GMFTS, Ryann worked as CSA and farm store manager at Green Mountain College’s Cerridwen Farm, providing members of the Poultney community with fresh produce, eggs, and meat products. She has also worked as an intern with the Inland Seas Education Association in northern Michigan, introducing school groups to Great Lakes ecology aboard a sixty-foot schooner. Ryann is looking forward to hiking, biking, and exploring farms and forests in the Northeast Kingdom.

MEET THE BOARD

Dr. Robert Kern

Chair

Morgan, VT

Hope Colburn

Treasurer

Glover, VT

Sarah Baughman

Secretary

Irasburg, VT

Holly Wyllie

North Troy, VT

Steve Wright

Newport, VT

David Stackpole

Stowe, VT

Katherine Sims

Lowell, VT

Amy Crank

Hardwick, VT

Merlin Backus

Westfield, VT

Colleen Moore de Ortiz

Newport City, VT

Mary Parent

St. Johnsbury, VT

Steve Breault

Ogden, QC

Dr. Thomas Moseley

Newport, VT

OUR PROGRAMS

Farm-to-School

The Northeast Kingdom Farm-to-School Program helps schools in the Northeast Kingdom build school gardens, source local food, and provide nutrition and agriculture education.

Read More

Vermont Harvest of the Month

Vermont Harvest of the Month is a statewide campaign that promotes a different Vermont-grown crop each month and provides ready-to-use materials for classrooms, cafeterias, and communities.

Read More

Green Mountain Farm Direct

Farm Direct is a regional food hub distributing local food to schools, institutions, and other sales outlets in northern Vermont.

Read More

The Lunchbox

The Lunchbox is a summer meal program and mobile learning kitchen that brings locally-grown food and food-based education to communities in the Northeast Kingdom.

Read More

FROM OUR BLOG

Distribution 2

Coupon Program Helps Low-Income NEK Residents

The final report for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program, compiled by Wholesome Wave based off of information collected by the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has been released by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS). Read More…

GET INVOLVED

Join us in our effort to build healthy communities through food and education.

Volunteer

We have a wide variety of ways of volunteer opportunities; some are weekly commitments, while others are one-time-only contributions of time and energy. All efforts are greatly appreciated. Volunteer opportunities include: gardening, supporting educational programs, marketing and outreach, special events, office support, research projects, fundraising, and committee membership.

To learn more about volunteering with GMFTS, contact Shane Rogers at srogers@gmfts.org or call 802-334-2044.

Internship Opportunities

We are looking for individuals who are self-motivated, creative, detail-oriented, and who have an interest in building healthy communities through food and education.

Internships are available in the following areas:

Each summer Green Mountain Farm-to-School offers internship opportunities to individuals who are self-motivated, creative, detail-oriented, and who have an interest in building healthy communities through food and education.  Each internship is unique and tailored to best fit the needs of the individual and the organization. Internships can include working on food access, consumer education, or communication projects that support all of GMFTS programs. To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to Catherine Cusack at ccusack@gmfts.org.

EMPLOYMENT

Employment is available in the following areas:

Green Mountain Farm-to-School is seeking an executive director. For information about the position and how to apply please follow the link below.

Executive Director – Job Description

Green Mountain Farm-to-School is seeking a business manager. For information about the position and how to apply please follow the links below.

Business Manager – Job Description

Green Mountain Farm-to-School is seeking a farm-to-school coordinator. For information about the position, the typical weekly schedule and how to apply please follow the links below.

 GMFTS Farm-to-School Coordinator – Job Description

FTS Coordinator Typical – Weekly Schedule

EVENTS

MAJOR FUNDERS

We are thankful to the community of friends who have generously supported Green Mountain Farm-to-School and our work to promote the health of Vermont’s children, farms, and communities between July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.