Food Connects offers 2013-14 enrollment in affordable local food buying clubs

BRATTLEBORO — Food Connects, a Brattleboro-based nonprofit, has launched buying clubs for affordable local food in four local schools as part of the Vermont Community Foundation's Food and Farm Initiative.

Community members near Brattleboro Area Middle School, Academy School, Putney Central School, and Guilford Central School can enroll now at This year's buying clubs are supported by volunteers and students at each school.

The clubs provide local food at lower prices through their partnership with Windham Farm and Food (WFF). Members place food orders twice a month, online or on paper, and WFF delivers to the school every two weeks. The club accepts cash, EBT, and checks.

The clubs are open to all community members with a stated goal of serving low-income families. Participants who do not qualify for WIC, food stamps, or state-subsidized health insurance pay a little extra to support those who need more.

Organizers say the buying clubs exist to create new markets for local food, not to shift from existing direct farm-to-consumer markets.

Produce is seasonal and inventory fluctuates throughout the year, but Food Connects boasts a reliable supply of apples, root vegetables, herbs, and even some greenhouse-produced leafy greens throughout the sparse winter and early spring months.

Eggs, bread, bagels, yogurt, cheese, and other items are available all year long.

The Vermont Community Foundation funded the buying clubs as one of the approaches they've identified as most promising in tackling food insecurity in Vermont.

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