Susie Walsh Daloz, the Food & Farm Program Director at VYCC, explained the importance of ongoing community support: “This program creates countless connections across our community. Young people learn, grow, and give back. Families struggling with food insecurity and diet-related health issues enjoy increased access to locally grown produce and poultry. Health care providers support their patients with a simple and effective approach to health and wellness. Many alumni of the program pursue careers in food justice, public health, and sustainable agriculture. And none of this happens without the generous support of businesses, foundations, and individuals who recognize the value of what we are building.”
PRESS RELEASE: Local Businesses Stand with Vermonters Who Are Learning, Working, Making a Difference
“I don’t know what I’d do for work if it wasn’t for VYCC,” said one Crew Member of the Newport Food & Farm Crew. With support from the Northeast Kingdom Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, the Windham Foundation, and the Oakland Foundation, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) employed five youth from the Newport area to work on VYCC’s Health Care Share project this summer.
280 individual VYCC corps members worked from as early as March all the way until the end of November on our Farm and Conservation crews. From sowing seeds, to improving state park infrastructures, to removing invasive species, to harvesting organic vegetables for Vermonters in need, our crews learned, earned, and yearned to make their communities better. Our crews spread across New York State, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and of course every county in Vermont.
As the season moves into fall, harvesting veggies becomes a high priority for Corps Member who will be finishing their service soon.
In 2019, VYCC fielded 12 Community Crews across our Corps, employing over 75 youth!As a way to celebrate their accomplishments, each Community Crew hosted a Meet-Up at their project site where community members could meet them, see their work, and learn more. It was a great way for Corps Members to gain valuable public speaking skills and for locals to be wowed (and thank the crews).“Each VYCC Community Crew member puts in hundreds of hours of hard work in the communities they serve. Meet-ups are an opportunity to showcase their efforts while connecting with community members who will utilize VYCC-built trails, bridges, and boardwalks for years to come,” remarked Daniel Schmidt, Program Officer.”
Blood pressure? Check. Cholesterol? Check. Pasture-raised chicken?For most of us, the first two are what we expect from a visit to our primary care doctor’s office . . . but here in Vermont, on any given day, you might just find a farmer’s market outside your primary care medical home.
Join us on August 10 for a midsummer celebration of locally-grown food and community resilience!
All over the state, Corps Members will show and tell local community members about the projects they are working on. We are hosting ten of these events across July and August. Your invited, please join us!
VYCC HQ: What did you learn during the day?Alum Marlee M: "There's a lot more citizen voice and involvement in how the government works than I had thought before!" Alum Nick P: "I learned how open and inviting the Vermont Legislature."
What an incredible opportunity and honor to be in DC at The Corps Network Conference and see so many different Corps – all with different program models, specific types of projects, different demographics, and a variety of scales from small Corps focused in a single neighborhood within a city or to a collection of Corps serving multiple states. The common thread? A focus on providing opportunities for young people to serve in our communities, learning and working together, and leaving a lasting legacy of positive change.