Vermont Grantmaking: Water, Food and Education

By Eliza

Our connection to Vermont as a company runs deep. In addition to being founded over 30 years ago in Waitsfield, Vermont, we continue to grow and invest in Vermont communities. This week we were named the largest Vermont-based business for the second year in a row by Vermont Business Magazine. We are commited to Vermont to grow our business, but are also dedicated to improving the sustainability and quality of life of the all the communities where GMCR employees live and work.

Photo of Lake Champlain, Vermont during Winter

Through Employee Community Grant Programs at each of our employee sites in the United States and Canada, we provide grants to organizations and projects that address specific issues aligned with environmental stewardship, strong local systems, and economic prosperity. Each employee site has its own grant program and review team, and each directs their philanthropic efforts and resources to a set of specific focus areas that are meaningful for their employees and relevant to their unique community.

In Vermont, we provide funding to organizations working within the focus areas of Clean Water, Access to Quality Education, and Sustainable Food Systems. As we start a new year, we thought we would reflect on some of the grants awarded our fiscal 2012.

Clean Water & Healthy Rivers, Lakes and Shorelines:

  • Composting Association of Vermont Filter Sock Project II: Two demonstration projects and post implementation workshops. One project will take place in Jamaica, repairing a 6,000 sq. ft. area of steep sidehill that collapsed during Irene, taking out a section of road and stream bank.
  • Vermont Natural Resources Council support for a one-day River Conference organized after Irene to bring together multiple sectors to learn about and discuss science-based river management practices in order to properly educate about the best decisions in emergency situations.
  • Friends of the Mad River support for Watershed Restoration and Resiliency effort. Funding will support planning efforts, public education, riparian buffer improvement and more to mitigate flood damage in the future.

Sustainable Food Systems:

  • VT-FEED is a collaborative Farm to School (FTS) project of Shelburne Farms, NOFA-VT and Food Works with the goal to have well-supported FTS programming in every Vermont community by 2020.  When all Vermont schoolchildren to have multiple, repeated exposure to quality food, farm, and nutrition education throughout their schooling, they will not only will learn and appreciate where food comes from, but they will also internalize healthy eating habits that contribute to their overall health and the wellness of their communities.
  • Center for Sustainable Systems works with local high school teachers to use the food system to deliver purposeful, experiential lessons to all students, across a variety of academic disciplines. Teachers are developing curriculum to use in the classroom to be paired with field work in school-based gardens and at Food Works’ Two Rivers farm.

Access to Quality Education:

  • Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) program support for the Year of the Book for Johnson Elementary school, two rural author/illustrator presentations, and two at-risk literacy and storytelling presentations.
  • Young Writers Project  general operating support. Funding will support improvement of YWP Schools Project including improvement of ongoing training of teachers, expansion of a graduate course for teachers and efficacy study of its work; website redesign; and development of a strategic plan.
  • Audubon Vermont support for the “Opening New Eyes to Nature” program, which will help to support outdoor programs year round for 80 schools.

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