In 2014, we piloted the VT Fresh program at 11 network partner food shelves. VT Fresh is a nutrition education program that aims to increase access and improve the availability of fruits and vegetables at community food shelves.

Vermont Foodbank staff:

  • VT Fresh produce displayconducted cooking demos and taste tests at the pilot food shelves,
  • helped change the food environment in community food shelves by increasing the prominence, convenience and availability of fruits and vegetables,
  • reinforced core nutrition messages and affected fruit and vegetable consumption decisions by improving displays, signage and promotions of these products.

VT Fresh Participant Highlights

“Now the display is attractive

[and] it makes it easy to access for our guests. The small bins make it easier to place vegetables in the refrigerator at  the end of the day. Within a few weeks of changing the display we began to notice a significant increase in the amount of vegetables we were distributing weekly.”

-Our Place

“The produce area has a farmer’s market ambiance, giving our consumers the feeling of ‘shopping’ in a respectful and positive way… The ability to market our produce more effectively has drastically cut down on waste.”

– Capstone Community ActionVT Fresh cooking demo“The [program] allowed the JFS to double its storage capacity for farm fresh food… and provide better humidity control, increasing shelf life, and increasing safe food storage”

-Johnson Food Shelf

“Because clients can take fresh produce from the new shelves in the foyer/intake area whenever BADIC’s office is open, overall access is increased by a magnitude of 50.5 hours each week.”

-BADICVT Fresh cooking demo“The food demonstrations were well received. We continue to get good feedback about how surprised recipients are about how easy and simple some of the  recipes are. We have 3 volunteers who have taken on continuing the food demos.

-Putney Food Shelf

You can read the VT Fresh pilot program report here (click the image to download):

VT Fresh pilot report

Learn more about VT Fresh here.

Programs like this would not be possible without your support. Please consider supporting the Vermont Foodbank today!