YAP Food Network

YAP-Food-Network-Chart

The Tutorial Center’s Youth Agriculture Project (YAP) launched the YAP Food Network as a way to address a major community-identified problem: southwest Vermont lacked a system for local institutions like hospitals, colleges, schools, and corporations to purchase fresh, high quality food from our local farmers and food producers.

In spring of 2012, we launched the YAP Food Network as a local food “hub” to solve this community problem. Initially piloted with a few farms in southern Vermont, along with our original food gardens maintained by the YAP youth crews in Bennington and Manchester, the YAP Food Network proved a great success!

Recognized at the state level as a community innovation, our fledgling YAP Food Network was highlighted in the seasonal newsletter of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.  (See page 7, “Bringing Locally Grown Food to Southwest Vermont Medical Center.”)

With this pilot-year success, the Network expanded in 2013 to include twice the number of community farms, all of our student-run YAP Gardens, plus our newly added YAP Farm at Highland Hall Farmhouse. Together these growers provided fresh food to The Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, select area restaurants, and other local institutions. Gross sales for the 2013 season are on target to surpass $30,000!

The YAP Food Network is an important community win/win/win/win/win:

— Local institutions can demonstrate their commitment to the health and well being of their staff and clients, and to the economic and environmental health of Vermont, by offering high quality, fresh, local food in their cafeterias.

— Local residents have better access to great, healthy, local food.

— Local farmers and food producers get a new market for their food, adding to their annual income.

— YAP youth gain work experience and connections to their community.

— Through our partnerships with Bennington College and Southern Vermont College, local college students get “real world” work experience through volunteerism, internships and paid positions.

“The kale you bring us is the best I’ve ever seen!”

Dan, Wild Oats Market

To learn more or to get in involved with the YAP Food Network, use the form below.

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