What we do / Featured projects

Health Care Share: National Award Winner!

  • Location: Central and Northern Vermont
  • Year completed: 2012 and every year since!
  • Project areas: Food & Farm Project
  • Partners: Numerous

Find more information about the Health Care Share on our What We Do page.

Here is its origin story:

In 2008, VYCC acquired the eastern parcel of its current-day campus. The additional land and buildings enabled VYCC to drastically expand its programming, and one of those expansions was a small garden. As that garden grew into a CSA, VYCC sought to shift the destination of its produce to members of the community who might not have access to farm-fresh food.

In a conversation between VYCC’s Thomas Hark and Dr. Marvin Malek of Central Vermont Medical Center, the idea of a partnership between VYCC and medical centers emerged. VYCC is an organization that engages young people in seasonal outdoor work, and CVMC is a hospital working to help its patient community realize their wellness goals. CVMC could identify patients that would benefit greatly from no-cost farm-fresh produce.

In 2012, the first Health Care Share season served 150 households within the CVMC community: in Barre and surrounding towns.

The project took off quickly. Other partners joined in, and in 2018 the project won a national award: Project of the Year from The Corps Network.

Central Vermont Medical Center remains a steady partner. Shares have grown in size, duration, and variety. Today, certified organic vegetables are complimented on occasion by locally gleaned fruit, value-added products donated by local businesses such as Cabot Cheese and King Arthur Flour, eggs and chickens raised on the Farm by Corps Members, and freshly prepared, vacuum-sealed goods including pesto and flash-frozen vegetables.  

The contents of Health Care Shares include a wide variety of vegetables. About once per season, shares include a whole chicken, a dozen eggs, and local products like King Arthur Flour.