Sixty-five local families’ holidays were brightened yesterday with a box of local food thanks to Retreat Farm and dozens of farmers, bakers, cheesemongers, and local businesses.
“It’s been a hard year for all of us but these boxes are a true testament to our generous and resilient community. We are so grateful to all the people, farms, and businesses that contributed to this effort to feed our community,” said Lu Neuse, Managing Director of Programs and Stewardship at Retreat Farm.
The holiday food box distribution was sponsored by WW Building Supply. Weighing in at over 60 lbs, each box contained donated apples, flour, bread, and cheese from Dutton Farm, King Arthur Baking Company, Against the Grain, and Grafton Village Cheese Company. Additional food for the boxes was provided at discount by Food Connects, the Brattleboro Food Coop, Butter Mountain Bakery, and Miller Farm. Each box also included maple syrup produced by HCRS and JD Sugarworks, meat and pantry staples provided by the Vermont Food Bank, a variety of squash grown by Retreat Farm, and herbal tea from the SUSU Healing Collective. A donated refrigerator from Aaron’s was essential to storing the food prior to distribution.
A recipe book and message of gratitude and support were tucked inside, thanks to Howard Printing, to show each family how much they are cherished by the Brattleboro community.
“Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 10 Vermonters were food insecure. That number has now increased to 1 in 3. We want to be able to provide fresh local food to as many people as we can with the food we raise at Retreat Farm and by coordinating with farms and businesses that want to help. The compassion and generosity of our community is truly inspiring,” said Carissa Brewton, Community Food Project Coordinator at Retreat Farm.
The staff at Retreat Farm has spent weeks organizing donations, arranging registrations and pickups, and delivering the boxes. “We’re so grateful to be able to help lift spirits, and provide nourishing food and connection during this difficult time,” remarked Neuse.