Our Study Finds 14.3 Million Pounds of Food Lost Annually from Vermont Farms

Screenshot of interview with Theresa Snow on CCTVFood loss occurs when edible, quality food is neither sold or donated and therefore goes uneaten. Our analysis, based on farmer surveys we administered this spring and available agricultural data, is to our knowledge the first empirical study measuring food loss on Vermont farms.

Read the full study here:
Food Loss in Vermont: Estimating Annual Vegetable and Berry Loss.

Our new estimate for food loss: 14.3 million pounds of wholesome vegetables & berries are lost in Vermont annually – enough to fill 7,000 pickup trucks

Of the 14.3 million:

...32% is unpicked although still edible. The top reason (cited by nearly half of the farmers) for leaving the crop in the field: blemishes. Pictured at right: “Naturally beautiful” carrots like the one pictured often do not make it to market.

...68% is harvested produce, neither sold nor donated.


With all the variables in farming, surplus is inevitable - but waste at this scale doesn't have to be. Gleaning operations in Vermont are currently capturing under 5% of the 14.3 million pounds. Salvation Farms continues working with partners in all corners of the state to increase the capture and efficient distribution of this surplus and get more Vermont-grown food onto people’s plates.

How Do I Help?
Volunteer
Glean
Donate - Help Us Reach Our Summer Goal

 

Fresh Produce Needs Across Vermont: We See a High Demand

Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County Receives Salvation Farms Donation

Salvation Farms is proud to release the Fresh Produce Needs Report, recently produced by our team and Isgood Community Research.

Read the full report here:
Fresh Produce Needs Across Vermont: Results from the Fresh Produce Survey
 
Our report measures the demand for fresh produce within Vermont food or meal programs, based on surveys of these sites located across the state. The report teases out preferences and challenges in sourcing and using fruits and vegetables.

Overall findings: sites expressed interest in using a wide variety of fresh produce and the majority prefer Vermont-grown food, though in practice only a minority actually utilize food grown in the state.

Food shelves and public schools were the majority of respondents. The report estimates that statewide, these two types of sites have a need for more than 14 million pounds of fresh produce annually. Other types of organizations that responded included prisons, Meals on Wheels programs, and housing sites, so the annual demand statewide is likely much higher.
 
The report is a complement to our Food Loss on Vermont Farms study -- see report below.

^^^ Pictured Above: At Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County, Executive Director Nicole Fournier Grisgraber and Program Manager Holly Phelps receive a Salvation Farms donation.

 


How We Meet Our Mission

Utilizing local resources, skills and knowledge, we create strong partnerships across industries and sectors to effectively move surplus food from farms to those who need it.


 

Salvation Farms in the news:

Across The Fence: Salvation Farms Job Training & Economic Development - UVM Extension & WCAX, aired 12/14/16 >>>

Vermont Commodity Program Launch - Agri-View,, October 2016

Training Workers, Rescuing Food - Vermont Farm to Plate Atlas (feature), published 10/2016

Market Seen for Vermont Food That's Going to Waste - VT Digger (feature), 10/10/16

14 Million Pounds of Food Lost on Vermont Farms - Lancaster Farming, 10/1/16

Salvation Farms Launches Workforce Skill-Building Program that Reduces Food Loss on Vermont Farms - VT Digger, 9/30/16

Hometown Help: Meals on Wheels adds food from local farms to its menu - The Stowe Reporter, 9/15/16

Food Waste in Vermont Larger Than Expected - The Stowe Reporter, 8/19/16

14.3 Million Pounds of Produce Going to Waste on VT Farms, Local Groups Looking to Change That - ABC Local 22 TV, 8/18/16

Study Shows ‘Shocking’ Level of Wasted Produce - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 8/6/16

Upper Valley Group Hopes To Bridge Gap Between Food Waste And Food Insecurity In Vermont - VPR, 8/3/16

Vermont Brewery's Beer Benefits Food-Insecure Families - NBC Channel 5 TV 7/27/16

Excess Farm Food to be Rescued in Winooski - Burlington Free Press, 7/8/16

Theresa Snow and Salvation Farms: Bringing Food Security to Vermont - Edible Green Mountains, 5/15/16

Vermont Gleans Crops for Food Waste Event - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 5/10/16

Salvation Farms' Programs Turn Surplus Into Plenty - Seven Days, 4/10/16

Measuring Food Waste: Salvation Farms Takes Gleaning to a New Level - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 2/5/16


Alt Text: Screenshot of interview with Theresa Snow on CCTV

<<< Interview with our Executive Director, Theresa Snow - CCTV, with the Vermont Workers Center, October 2015.

No Crop Left Behind: Gleaning for a Food Secure Future - England Grassroots Environment Fund, Fall 2015

Salvation Farms: Resilience Through Food Surplus Management - Sustainability Institute at University of New Hampshire, Fall 2015


More Salvation Farms in the News here

  • What's Happening

    Finding a Good Root to the Dinner Table

    Posted on

     

    This fall, Gildrien Farm had a conundrum: a field of nutritious carrots – and no easy way to get them to eaters.

    The farmers had picked what they could confidently sell, leaving an acre of forked and misshapen carrots that they knew would be tough to find a market for. They’d donated surplus in the past, but it was usually already harvested and washed: easy for community gleaners to pick up. This time, it was several tons…still in the field. They wanted to know: can these carrots can feed our community instead of getting tilled into the soil?

    Lily, gleaning coordinator at HOPE, jumped to action. HOPE is a member of the Vermont Gleaning … Read More

    Check Out Salvation Farms in the News!