The John Merck Fund

2011 Regional Food Systems Grants

2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2003

Food Systems

Center for an Agricultural Economy$50,000

To further develop a locally-based, sustainable food system by piloting a farm-to-institution program in the town of Hardwick that uses local food sources and implementing region-appropriate infrastructure development.

Cultivating Community$25,000

To support programs that include developing business plans for up to 20 low-income refugee farmers; improving access to healthy food for hundreds of low-income consumers; and providing job training, community organizing and leadership opportunities for up to 60 high-school age youth.

Franklin County Community Development Corporation$200,000

To enable Farm-to-Institution New England to build a stronger regional food system by connecting New England farms to its institutions through cross-state collaboration and infrastructure development.

Health Care Without Harm$50,000

To plan for making New England the first discrete regional focus within the national Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

Highfields Center for Composting$40,000

To develop the framework and partnerships necessary to scale the Close the Loop composting model to a statewide program that builds the infrastructure and collection systems needed to convert all of Vermont's food waste to an agricultural resource by 2017.

Maine Farmland Trust$100,000

To develop a regionally scaled agriculture model that gives farmers Maine farmer access to more customers for their products, especially in the institutional market, and supports their scaling up to meet those customers' demands.

New England Farmers Union Education Foundation$65,000

To educate federal policymakers about the value of regulatory support for and financial investment in sustaining New England agriculture.

Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont$30,000

To develop and implement a new technical assistance program model that meets the critical needs of Vermont's organic dairy farmers.

Real Food Challenge$60,000

To increase by $2 million the purchases of local, sustainable and humanely produced food, as defined by the Real Food Calculator, at New England's colleges and universities through student-led campaigns that can be widely replicated to induce a sectoral change in food procurement.

Southeastern Vermont Community Action$25,000

To determine the feasibility of, and undertake the first steps in developing, a regional food center and distribution system that makes locally-produced foods available and affordable in southern Vermont and New Hampshire while providing a fair return for farmers.

Strolling of the Heifers$20,000

To encourage entrepreneurial farmers and food producers to develop entrepreneurial business plans in response to a statewide, public competition.

Third Sector New England$75,000

To determine if a credit union can viably fill the financing gap facing small, local and sustainably managed farms in the Northeast.

Vermont Community Foundation$10,000

To provide grants support to Vermont farms of any size that have sustained losses in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

Vermont Council on Rural Development$30,000

To promote and implement a five-point plan that gains significant state investment for entrepreneurial development, midsized working lands enterprises, and strategic infrastructure that will position Vermont as a leader in the local foods movement, creative value-added processing, and innovative and sustainable natural resource development.

VSC Foundation: Vermont Technical College$25,000

To recruit students to its diversified farming curriculum; and to integrate the college's farm products into the Vermont State College food service system.

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