News Briefs

RAFFL launches annual fundraiser, $75K goal

RUTLAND—In November, Rutland Area Farm and Food link (RAFFL) launched an effort to raise $75,000 to expand its current programming and outreach within the current communities it serves.
With a successful campaign by year’s end, RAFFL will be able to continue its efforts to capture fresh, seasonal food from local farms for those in need by purchasing a cargo van and supplies for the Glean Team; expanding the number of hands-on food and cooking workshops from Everyday Chef; creating more learning opportunities and workshops for area farmers and producers; and supporting marketing outreach to promote local farms and food.
The Rutland-based nonprofit addresses food insecurity and access; gives technical, marketing and business assistance to new and developing farmers; and works to expand consumer opportunities to access local food.
In the last three years, RAFFL’s Glean Team captured and distributed over 60,000 pounds of fresh, local and seasonal food throughout Rutland County and its surrounding communities to those in need. In 2016, 500 individuals participated in hands-on food, cooking and preservation workshops through Everyday Chef, which focuses on increasing confidence in the kitchen, basic cooking skills and healthy eating, using portable “kitchens” and work stations that allowed the workshops to happen in recovery homes, shelters, work-sites, schools, hospitals and in partnership with other organizations.
In the last year, RAFFL provided financial consults, land access and planning assistance to 35 farms and producers in Rutland, Bennington and Windsor counties through its farm business development program, while also promoting farms and local-food-friendly businesses throughout southern Vermont via the Locally Grown Guide, now in its 11th year, with both an online presence and paper copy distribution of over 20,000.
RAFFL’s online local food store, Farm Fresh Connect, is a market opportunity for farmers to reach new customers through the convenience of their computers and has grown 45 percent in the last 18 months.
RAFFL has been in the local agricultural scene since 2004. Gifts and contributions of any amount can be sent directly to RAFFL at P.O. Box 284, Rutland, VT 05602 or online at or

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