Addressing Food Insecurity in Bennington County

In spring 2019, Bennington College was awarded $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch a three-year collaborative effort with local partners to address the systemic causes of food insecurity in Bennington County.

Food insecurity—the inability to access affordable, nutritious food—affects one in eight Americans, or approximately 40 million people, and is particularly acute in southern Vermont. This collaboration aims to both address the pressing problem of food insecurity in the area and to develop an interdisciplinary and responsive humanities curriculum with students, faculty, and the community, creating a model from which other higher education institutions can learn and build.

Fall 2019 Course Syllabus -


Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS) is a community-based nonprofit organization working with people who live in or near poverty in Bennington County. GBICS runs Kitchen Cupboard, a food distribution program that serves over 1,300 families in Bennington (one in four) per year.

Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union is a public school district serving approximately 3,000 students from prekindergarten through high school in the towns of Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford. SVSU provides free breakfast and lunch to all students.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is an integrated medical health system that includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital in Bennington. SVMC is committed to addressing acute issues of food insecurity through programs including Prescriptions for Food, Grateful Hearts, and the Healthcare Shares/CSA Program.    

Advisory Board

Tatiana Abatemarco
Bennington College

Sue Andrews
Executive Director, GBICS

Shannon Barsotti
Community Development Director, Town of Bennington

Laura Boudreau
SVSU Assistant Superintendent

Chris Callahan
Extension Associate Professor: Agricultural Engineering, UVM Extension

Don Campbell
Regional Director, VT Land Trust

Brian Campion
Director of Public Policy Programs, CAPA; VT State Senator

Kristi Cross DNP, RN
Director of Bennington Blueprint, SVMC

Bill Colvin
Program Director/Community and Economic Development, Bennington County Regional Commission

Alex Dery Snider
Director of Communications, Bennington College

Stephanie Gates SNS
Director, Food Service SVSU

Ben Hall
Bennington College Faculty

Megan Herrington
Bennington Regional Director, Vermont Department of Health

Yoko Inoue
Bennington College Faculty, Visual Arts/CAPA

Andrea Malinowski
Program Manager, RiseVT

Maureen O’Neil SNS
Director, Abbey Food Service

Isabel Roche
Interim President, Bennington College

Susan Sgorbati
Director, CAPA, Bennington College

Jim Sullivan
Director, Bennington County Regional Commission

Anne Thompson
Curator, Bennington College

Tiffany Tobin
Director, Hospitality Services, SVHC

James Trimarchi
Director of Planning, SVHC

Grace Winslow
Bennington County Head Start and Early Head Start Health Manager

APPLICATION: Community Resource Fund

The application period for this opportunity has closed. 

The Community Resource Fund seeks applications for implementing catalyzing, collaborative projects that further our understanding of local food systems and leverages innovative solutions to address food insecurity in Bennington County. Projects can involve—but are not limited to—data analysis; research; amplifying existing projects in the community; designing new models or structures for implementation; and/or business development.

News and Updates

November 2019

This month, join us for the following community events:

Save the Date:

  • April 24-25, 2020: Regional food summit, led by CAPA and the Bennington Regional Planning Commission, consisting of trainings, workshops, panels and networking.

Food Insecurity Coverage

November 15: Shaping Bowls, Forming Community (Bennington College)
November 8, 2019: Hunger Council, CAPA Eye New Food Security Initiatives (Bennington Banner)
October 27, 2019: Many Hands Help Shape Empty Bowls for Annual Event (Bennington Banner)

October 2019

Save the date for the following community events:

Food Insecurity Coverage

October 9, 2019: Food Insecurity Work Moving Forward at Bennington College (Bennington Banner)
October 4, 2019: Bennington College Starting New Population Health Fellowship with SVMC (Bennington Banner)

September 2019

Save the date for the following community events:

The Community Resource Fund is now seeking applications for implementing catalyzing, collaborative projects that further our understanding of local food systems and leverages innovative solutions to address food insecurity in Bennington County. Apply by October 15.

At Bennington College, Fall term courses in food insecurity research have begun, including:

If you are a researcher or activist working to address food insecurity in Bennington County and are interested in connecting with this cohort of partners, please reach out to Susan Sgorbati.

Past Updates

July 25, 2019: Bennington College to Provide Free Summer Meals (Bennington Banner)
June 21, 2019: A Collective Approach to Addressing Hunger in Bennington County (Vermont Public Radio)
June 10, 2019: Bennington College to Explore Local Food Insecurity (WAMC)
May 28, 2019: $1 Million Awarded to Address Systemic Causes of Food Insecurity (Press release)

Questions about the project?


For Media Inquiries

Alex Dery Snider, Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs