City Market and Feeding Chittenden’s partnership first began over three decades ago when the two organizations were neighbors on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington’s Old North End. During that time, City Market would provide “food rescue” donations and worked with hunger relief advocates to encourage its patrons to make food & fund donations. Once City Market relocated to its downtown location, the relationship with Feeding Chittenden grew stronger as the two organizations worked more closely on initiatives to empower vulnerable Vermonters and fight food insecurity.
Over the years, City Market has collaborated with Feeding Chittenden on a number of initiatives. City Market has provided daily food donations, including organic vegetables and a variety of heart-healthy choices, as well as perishable and non-perishable donations. City Market Chefs have shared recipes and provided meals directly to the Soup Kitchen at Feeding Chittenden, offering expert advice and funds for culinary equipment and supplies. City Market staff have also donated their time and energy to support hunger relief efforts, working directly in the Feeding Chittenden kitchen and collaborating with the Community Kitchen Academy (CKA), Feeding Chittenden’s culinary job training program. City Market has offered advice on operations and food storage in warehousing, storefront setup, signage, and communications.
City Market has continually improved its giving programs through community engagement, as evidenced in the Rally for Change program. Since its launch in 2014, the Rally for Change program allows members to “round up” their order to the nearest dollar when they check out at the register, resulting in over $728,788 in donations to Feeding Chittenden, or the equivalent of 485,858 meals distributed to food insecure community members. On an annual basis, this creative and meaningful program helps over 20,000 food insecure people in our region with critical nutrition.
These contributions also help sustain Feeding Chittenden’s Good Food Truck, a state-of-the-art vehicle which uses the power of nutritious, local food to nourish people who are hungry, create opportunities for people completing CKA, and provide outreach services to underserved neighborhoods throughout Chittenden County. City Market has supported this project, hosting different events onsite to promote anti-hunger efforts and encouraging healthy eating through locally-sourced foods. The Good Food Trailer, made possible by a City Market Seedling Grant, has enabled the program to continually operate throughout the cold winter months. Powered by community supporters and volunteers, Feeding Chittenden works to provide healthy meals despite the frigid temperatures.
Feeding Chittenden seeks to strengthen our community by ensuring that no one goes without food. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our agency has adapted to increase food access through deliveries and community development. We’ve created an online market and have partnered with health care providers to increase access to food. City Market is a shining example of a business that puts its community first and encourages volunteer engagement. Over the last two years, City Market volunteers have been responsible for OVER HALF of our total volunteer hours while Feeding Chittenden has transitioned to become a food access center. These dedicated volunteers have helped us transition into our new, safe way of serving food, which includes pre-boxing groceries and hot meals, delivering groceries, and much more! These volunteers have helped us process bulk items into family size portions, including fresh greens from local farmers. They have assisted visitors at the door, accommodating each individual’s needs with a smile and a positive energy that transcends all physical barriers.
As we look to the future, we hope to continue our relationship with City Market to create innovative ways of alleviating hunger in our region.