Final Guest Post from a Hunger Fellow

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Posted: February 10, 2015

This week concludes my field site work with the CAE the Vermont Foodbank and on Friday I move to Washington DC to continue my fellowship work with a focus on national anti hunger and anti poverty policy. Although it is bittersweet to leave the bitter cold, I am very proud to present my Hunger Free Community Report to you all. It is titled The Harvest Process: Maximizing Local Food Infrastructure to Benefit the Charitable Food System, and details my recommendations for how to create a partnership between the CAE and the Vermont Foodbank to add processing to the charitable food system. Over the course of my time here, I had the rare opportunity to inspect the inner workings of the local and charitable food systems. I rode with Vermont Foodbank truck drivers on their delivery routes, visited the Salvation Farms produce packing project at the South East State Correctional Facility, gleaned squash at Riverside Farm, and interviewed food bank project coordinators from California to Cairo about their processing projects.
Although examples of food processing are few and far between, I determined that with careful planning and by fostering new relationships with workforce development organizations we can keep costs low and create a generative and lasting partnership. The Vermont Foodbank is excited to launch a processing pilot based on this research in 2015!

I also complied an inventory of cold storage and processing facilities, charitable food organizations, VT Foodbank distribution routes, and relationships that connect those entities and organizations. The map below contains 8 different layers:

1-5)Vermont Foodbank Trucking Routes Monday-Friday
6)Cold Storage and Processing Facilities
7)Charitable Food Organizations
8) Existing Relationships and Identified needs in Charitable Food System
Simply click the menu in the top right corner and select which layers you would like to see.

I have been so impressed by the complexity and the resiliency of the local food system in Vermont, and hope that this work can contribute to making it an alternative that is accessible to all.

With Respect,
Nora Leccese
Emerson National Hunger Fellow 2015

If you have any further questions about this report, or about my work please feel free to get in touch at

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