Vital Communities has added a new initiative to its list of efforts toward a more sustainable Upper Valley: the Upper Valley Farm to School Network (UVFTS) of schools, staff, parents, community members, and farmers working together to connect the region’s students with local farms, healthy foods, and educational opportunities. UVFTS merged into Vital Communities on July 1 as part of its Valley Food & Farm program.
Founded in 2008 by Hartland resident Peter Allison, UVFTS has been a regional and national model for community-based farm-to-school initiatives. Vital Communities welcomed the opportunity to steward the network as Allison shifts his focus to managing a related initiative, Farm to Institution New England.
“The merger received unanimous support from our board, staff, community members, and stakeholders,” said Vital Communities Executive Director Mary Margaret Sloan. “The Upper Valley Farm to School Network aligns with all of our other programs, and it provides us an opportunity to engage directly with the region’s schools to help make a real difference in children’s health and education, and our communities as a whole.”
Under the leadership of Vital Communities, the Upper Valley Farm to School Network is being managed by Valley Food & Farm Manager Becka Warren and Farm to School Coordinator Beth Roy, a certified classroom teacher with 15 years of experience in the fields of environmental and place-based education. For more information, visit VitalCommunities.org/UVFTS.
Vital Communities, a nonprofit organization based in White River Junction, Vt., brings together citizens, organizations, and municipalities to take on issues where an independent voice and regional approach are essential. Working together, we make our region a better place to live, work, and play. Learn more at VitalCommunities.org.