What they do: Vermont Farm to Plate’s CSA and Healthcare Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of organizations in Vermont that use community-supported agriculture (CSA) to improve health outcomes. There are currently five organizations in the CoP that partner with local healthcare organizations and farmers to offer food-as-medicine programs.
- The Addison County Relocalization Network’s Farmacy: Food is Medicine program addresses diet-related illnesses, food insecurity, and local farm viability.
- The University of Vermont Medical Center’s Farm Shares for Health program supports and encourages families to prepare home-cooked meals with fresh, local produce, and to eat together as a family.
- The Healthy Roots Collaborative and the Northern Tier Center for Health (NOTCH) have partnered to provide the Northwest Farmacy CSA at no cost to community members with diet-related illnesses and barriers to food access.
- The Vermont Farmers Food Center’s Farmacy Project provides locally grown produce to individuals with diet-related illnesses and/or food insecurity.
- The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Health Care Share connects families experiencing food insecurity and/or other health risks to fresh, local produce.
How they do it: The CoP meets virtually, twice a month on Monday afternoons. Meetings are co-led by Emma Hileman and Heidi Lynch from the Vermont Farmers Food Center, along with Vermont Farm to Plate. Each year, the CoP identifies a list of topics to discuss, and the group leaders schedule topics, speakers, and/or trainings for each meeting, allowing time for open discussion and questions, as well.
Meeting attendees are generally representatives of the five participating organizations mentioned above, but others are always welcome and visitors often attend, depending on the topic of discussion. Guests may include representatives from other healthcare practices interested in starting a food as medicine program, farmers who want to participate, or other organizations that want to partner with the CoP.
Mission: To build partnerships and learn from peers who also want to connect food systems and healthcare systems in the state of Vermont.
Profit/nonprofit: The CoP is comprised mostly of nonprofit organizations.
Annual Budget: Not disclosed
Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect health: The CoP connects individuals working on CSA and healthcare programs at varying stages of development and implementation, which allows members with different fields of expertise to learn from each other, create new partnerships, and increase the reach and effectiveness of their programs.
In 2022, the five Healthcare CSA programs partnered with 46 healthcare clinics and 26 farms, reaching 1,841 people.
Locations: Franklin, Orleans, Chittenden, Caledonia, Addison, Washington, Orange, and Rutland Counties
Core Programs: Community of Practice
Number of members: 15
Number of volunteers: N/A
Areas served: Vermont
Year Started: 2021
Director: Kelly Dolan, Network Manager, Vermont Farm to Plate
Contact Information: Phone: (802) 828-7905, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2022 Data Report Farm to Plate CSA & Healthcare Community of Practice (Farm to Plate)
- Communities of Practice (Farm to Plate)
- CSA Programs Partner with Healthcare Providers (Farm to Plate)
- Farmacy Project (Vermont Farmers Food Center)
- Farm Shares for Health 2022 Season (University of Vermont)
- Health Care Share (Vermont Youth Conservation Corps)
- The Network (Farm to Plate)
- The Plan (Farm to Plate)
- Vermont Food and Health Program Inventory (Farm to Plate)
- What is the Farmacy: Food is Medicine Program? (Addison County Relocalization Network)