Vermont Farm to Plate Releases Food Security in Vermont: Roadmap to 2035

For two years, over 600 Vermonters contributed their personal expertise on food security to develop a Food Security in Vermont: Roadmap to 2035. The Farm to Plate Network’s Food Security Priority Strategy Team led the Roadmap development presented the completed Roadmap on January 24, 2024 to the Vermont Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Vermont House Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry. Now it is time to begin implementation. This Roadmap shows us how to ensure everyone in Vermont has the food they need and to create resilient, climate-ready communities across the state.

Our Shared Goal: In 2035, all Vermonters will be food secure. The Vermont Food Security Roadmap to 2035 guides our way to that future. As defined by the United Nations, food security is “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Vermont has the tools, knowledge, and resources to create food security and ensure that every person living here has the food they want and need to be healthy and nourished. Our time to act is now.

To achieve the goal of a food secure Vermont by 2035 the Roadmap prioritizes systems and policy changes over individual-level interventions. It builds on government programs, community innovation, and the shared experiences of Vermonters in recent years, with policy recommendations and actions we can take in Vermont to create permanent, equitable food security for all.

Food Security Roadmap Background

In February 2021, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Farm to Plate Network, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture released the 2021–2030 Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan to accomplish the three legislative outcomes articulated in the Farm to Plate Investment Program’s statute, namely to increase sustainable economic development and create jobs in Vermont’s food and farm sector; improve soils, water, and resiliency of the working landscape in the face of climate change; and improve access to healthy local foods for all Vermonters.

The Food Security Roadmap project was initiated to build shared action strategies on how to improve access to healthy local foods for all Vermonters. The 2021–2030 Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan: called for Farm to Plate to develop a Vermont food security [roadmap], centered around a thriving food system and inspired by community-based responses to food insecurity and disruptive events. The process Involved food insecure individuals as well as farmers in the planning, and investigated questions including, but not limited to, affordable housing, health care, transportation, siting of retail grocery stores, food distribution, and ensuring the continued production of food in Vermont. The Roadmap works to adopt state and regional level policies, procedures, and plans to ensure that the Vermont food supply is sufficient to withstand global or national food supply chain disruptions caused by climate change and other disasters.

A team of dedicated leaders in the Farm to Plate Network was assembled to design and implement a robust public engagement process with a diverse group of Vermonters on how best to achieve food security for all who call Vermont home.

“We are on the road to food security in Vermont,” said Becka Warren, Farm to Plate Food Security Plan Manager at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. “The State of Vermont can make policy choices that will ensure food security for everyone who lives here.”

Together, we can work to ensure that hidden hunger does not exist in Vermont because everyone has the food they need. If you’re interested in becoming involved in this work, you can sign up for the Food Security in Vermont: Roadmap to 2035 newsletter on the Farm to Plate website. You can also join your local Hunger Council; find out more at the Hunger Free Vermont website. To learn more about implementing this roadmap and to get involved, email becka@vsjf.org.

 

About Vermont Farm to Plate

Farm to Plate is Vermont’s statewide food system plan implemented by 350+ member organizations of the Farm to Plate Network to meet the goals of legislation passed in 2009 calling for increased economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improved access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. Vermont’s farm to plate food system plan is the most comprehensive in the country and the only state that has complete government engagement. In 2019, Vermont Farm to Plate was reauthorized beyond 2020. The program is managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a nonprofit organization based in Montpelier, Vermont.