Alumna Sammy Levine Returns to VYCC as ShiftMeals Grow Team Manager
June 8, 2020 | Alumni, Farm, Health Care Share
Sammy Levine has been back on the Farm at VYCC; not as a VYCC Corps Member, but as the Manager of ShiftMeals – a food security venture Skinny Pancake has launched in response to the pandemic.
Last week, Sammy got a team of eight up to speed on VYCC’s farm operations, and they will provide much-needed assistance with the Health Care Share project. “We are no longer able to ignore what’s broken in our food system,” Sammy says. “Issues of food access and food justice are coming to the forefront. The Health Care Share provides food access to those who were already struggling. Food insecurity is only going to grow, and it’s great that the Health Care Share is already in place. I’m 100% behind the Health Care Share.”
As VYCC’s 2019 Nutrition and Project Lead, Sammy completed a tremendous amount of work in VYCC’s greenhouses and fields, growing food for the Health Care Share.
She also worked with youth members in our commercial kitchen.
Sammy cites community dinners as a highlight of her 2019 season. For these events, she supported 25 youth members in planning and cooking a farm-to-plate meal for the community: “Preparing a gorgeous meal for 100 people is great professional development for anyone interested in working in a kitchen or coordinating events. For youth members to share their VYCC experience with family and community is really special.”
VYCC was a professional development opportunity for Sammy as well, who earned a degree in Food Systems from UVM in 2016 and gained work experience on farms and in the restaurant business. She was drawn to the hard work of farming to fully understand this critical component of the food system. “VYCC offered the challenge of a leadership role on a farm,” Sammy says. “It was an opportunity to learn how to mentor others and lean into teachable moments.”
When the pandemic hit Burlington, Sammy found herself talking with former colleagues at the Skinny Pancake about their idea to employ food service workers and deliver food to affected Vermonters. As someone with proven skills in managing farms, people and meal preparation, Sammy – at age 25 – is now the Manager of Skinny Pancake’s new community service venture. Their ShiftMeals farming effort aims to create community-organized and community-led vegetable plots across the state.
Which brings Sammy back to the Farm at VYCC roughly once a week, where one of the paid ShiftMeals Grow Teams is now stationed. “It makes so much sense that VYCC and ShiftMeals are teaming up like this. It is so special to be able to work with the VYCC team again, who are dear friends and mentors of mine.”
Learn more about ShiftMeals here https://shiftmeals.org/join-our-grow-team/
YOU CAN HELP: VYCC’s FARM-TO-FAMILY FUND
You can join youth, health care providers, community volunteers, and the ShiftMeals team for the Health Care Share’s ninth season.
You can help connect families to farm-fresh food through our Farm-to-Family Fund. This fund is a way for you to support the Health Care Share project: a season’s worth of vegetables for Vermont households struggling with food security and/or diet-related illness. July through December, participants pick up weekly deliveries at their doctor’s office.
In a typical year, medical center partners provide revenues to support this project. Some partners are unable to fulfill their financial commitment this year as they focus on caring for COVID-19 patients. Will you join your generous neighbors by making a gift? Our community is halfway to the goal of getting a season’s worth of fresh vegetables onto the tables of 430+ Vermont families.
If you want to join in, you can make a secure gift at https://www.vycc.org/farm2family