August 6, 2018
Vermont Business Magazine
Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier is now accepting grant applications in support of local businesses and organizations whose work enriches the central Vermont community and furthers the Co-op’s mission of building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce.
Hunger Mountain Co-op began its community fund endowment in 2005. With support from Co-op member-owners, Twin Pines Cooperative Community Fund, and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the fund has grown steadily.
Since 2011, the Co-op has awarded grants annually, with a current total of $45,302 to 36 different recipients. Last year’s grants totaled just under $7,000 and benefited NOFA-VT, Good Food Good Medicine, The Growing Peace Project, Just Basics, Inc., Barre Area Senior Center, Vermont Foodbank, Capstone Community Action, Calais Agricultural Committee, and Northfield Community Development Network.
Individual grants range from $100 to $2500 with preference given to smaller-scale projects that support the local food system. “Over the years, we have found that even a relatively small amount of funds can make a significant impact on well-designed projects,” says Co-op General Manager Kari Bradley. “Recently we have put more focus on initiatives that address food insecurity in Central Vermont, but we welcome applications for all types of projects in line with our co-op’s mission of supporting health, community, sustainability, cooperation and of course really good food.”
Past community grants have funded construction of infrastructure projects, such as shelving for food pantry storage, and educational programs, including family wellness education and cooking classes for seniors, among others. Funds have also supported small local businesses in need of start-up capital as well as social or environmental programs and initiatives. According to 2017 grant recipient Good Food Good Medicine, “This grant helps small community projects like ours to make a big impact on the lives of people in our central Vermont area due to the ripple effect that community building and education has.”
2018 applications can be found online at hungermountain.coop or at the Co-op’s customer service desk (623 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier). Completed applications are due by Tuesday, September 4. The Co-op will announce this year’s grant recipients at its Annual Meeting on the evening of Thursday, November 1.