FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2012
Kevin Coburn, Director of Communications
Green Mountain College Farm and Food Project and Salvation Farm Form Partnership for Hungry
POULTNEY--Green Mountain College’s Farm and Food Project is partnering with Salvation Farms, a not-for profit based in Morrisville, Vt., to expand research on producing and integrating quick-frozen produce into the local food system.
Throughout the summer and fall months, this partnership will develop a line of minimally-processed frozen local produce for use in food access points in the Rutland region that serve vulnerable populations; the young, elderly and hungry. This work will serve as a pilot for the Vermont Commodities Program which is being spearheaded by Salvation Farms and will expand to serve emergency food organizations, nursing homes, schools and other institutional-type kitchens in the future.
The partnership makes use of a flash-freeze unit at GMC provided by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and the College’s expanded commercial kitchen. The mobile flash-freeze unit can be used to preserve produce grown by local farmers. The research is funded by the Jane’s Trust. Produce processing will take place in the Solar Harvest Center Commercial Kitchen, funded by grants from the Duke Energy Foundation and the Windham Foundation.
Surplus farm produce will be collected through the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) Grow-a-Row program, a food access and gleaning program now in its fourth year. Grow-a-Row distributes fresh locally grown produce to meal sites and emergency food shelves weekly during the growing season. Salvation Farms is working directly with the Grow-a-Row coordinators to refine the programs operational systems, increase the efficiency and ability to rescue more surplus farm produce from the regions farmers. This is in line with the organizations history as one of the oldest organizers and advocates for gleaning in Vermont.
“We are honored and excited to work in partnership with Green Mountain College and RAFFL’s Grow-a-Row program,” said Theresa Snow, executive director of Salvation Farms. “The work we are doing together this season is a vital step in ensuring that Vermont grown food is available to everyone.”
Salvation Farms’ mission is to build increased resilience in Vermont’s food system through agricultural surplus management. To find out more about Salvation Farms visit their blog site at www.salvationfarms.wordpress.com.
Through this partnership Green Mountain College seeks to provide both resources and knowledge that will promote the health, welfare, and education of underserved populations in our region by providing them with nutritious food and by building a secure and affordable food system. For more information about this research, visit http://www.greenmtn.edu/farm_food/research/flash-freezing-technologies.aspx.