100 Vermont youth. This year, an Orleans
County program launches in Newport.
Each region has its own model, but
all involve a community hospital or
health center sponsor and area health
care providers who write “prescriptions”
for 12 to 15 bags of food for patients who
are food-insecure or have diet-related
medical problems. While there is no cost
to Health Care Share members, those
who grow the food and run the programs
are paid through a variety of public and
private sources, including AmeriCorps, the
federally funded national service program.
Location-specific financial support might
come from a hospital community benefit
fund or through businesses like the Walmart
Foundation, which is underwriting the
Newport project. Food sourcing also varies.
In Bennington, produce is bought from one
farm; in Rutland, Health Care Share buys
from several small farms with the goal of
supporting new and emerging farmers who
benefit from the sales and exposure as well as
regular VYCC help.
At Breezy Meadows, as the VYCC crew sorted and washed onions around a table, farmer Josh
Squier said, “It’s great that they can find
people who want to do physical labor, and
they’re learning what it means to work hard.”
From a business standpoint, Squier con-
tinued, Health Care Share is a dependable,
season-long, wholesale account that the farm
can plan around. Plus, he added, “We like be-
ing part of the program. We just think people
should have good food.”
With vegetables loaded into a van, the
crew headed to the Vermont Farmers Food
Part of the problem in
medicine is there is no focus
on prevention. It’s all about
pills and procedures.
TOP Ryan Yoder, of Yoder Farm
in Danby, drops off fresh corn for
the Health Care Share project at
the Vermont Farmers Food Center
in Rutland. BOTTOM Connor
Magnuson, a crew leader with
the VYCC, at work in Danby.