Mika and Governor

Mica Seely of the Vermont Foodbank with Governor Peter Shumlin

The Vermont Foodbank received a 2016 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence, recognizing its work on food rescue initiatives which have diverted 4,157,711 pounds of waste into consumable food. The close partnership on food rescue between the Foodbank and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, which grew out of the new Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), has gained national recognition. Awards were presented to a variety of organizations across Vermont for work that promotes environmental sustainability.

“These projects contribute significantly to Vermont’s environmental quality and encourage others to take similar actions to protect our resources,” said Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. “They demonstrate the importance of innovation and partnerships in enhancing and sustaining Vermont’s environmental quality.

In addition to food rescue programs from aimed at businesses, the Foodbank also runs a gleaning program organizes groups of volunteers to harvest and gather excess produce or “seconds” from farms, a type of food rescue enables the Foodbank to provide delicious, healthy food to Vermonters who might not otherwise have access to local produce. The Foodbank also works with its 225 network partners to connect them to local retailers to build their own food rescue programs.

“We are thrilled to have our work in food rescue recognized by the Governor’s office,” said John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank. “Through our food rescue programs we are able to provide more food to neighbors in need while also strengthening the environment in Vermont. We hope these efforts only continue to grow.”

The awards were presented at a ceremony at the State House in Montpelier on April 28th.

Media Contact: Judy Stermer, Vermont Foodbank 802-505-0699.


Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, economic disruptions, and recent flooding. The Vermont Foodbank and its network have been on the front lines, working to ensure that everyone has the food they need to maintain their health. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided over 12 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.