VH Ag Fund
Targeted Giving Supports VH Farms
Everyone, no matter where or at what income level should have access to fresh, healthy, local food.
Sometimes food grown locally on small farms costs more than food produced on large-scale factory farms. For example, a pound of organic mixed greens in the supermarket costs around $9/lb; whereas a pound of organic mixed greens grown and sold on Vinalhaven costs over $12/lb.
Why does grocery store produce from hundreds or thousands of miles away cost less than food grown locally?
Both economies of scale and government subsidies to large-scale farms reduce the cost of produce from large-scale agribusiness farms, making their produce cheaper on the shelf.
How can we make local food affordable for people on fixed- and low-incomes?
One solution is to encourage WIC and EBT purchasing. The ARCafé is authorized to accept EBT debit cards and is the only Vinalhaven business that accepts WIC vouchers.
But what about local restaurants wishing to purchase locally? Or institutions like our local churches and the Vinalhaven School?
One way to make local food more affordable for non WIC and EBT users is to ask local growers to sell their food for less. But The ARC is committed to ensuring growers receive a livable wage for the goods they produce and, therefore, buys island produce at retail cost.
In an economy where big agriculture receives big subsidies, local agriculture needs local subsidies to thrive.
In 2011, supporters of The ARC and island agriculture established The ARC VH Ag (Agriculture) Fund. Rather than granting cash directly to growers, these tax-deductable, restricted funds are used by The ARC to purchase all available Vinalhaven agriculture products grown to ARCafé Buying Policy standards.
To date the Fund has raised over $5,000, which was used to purchase fall crops from eight Vinalhaven growers. The majority of food purchased is used for local foods meals in the Vinalhaven School, food disribution for those in need, and fruit and vegetable dollars-off coupons for fixed- and low-income-eligible patrons.
Consider a gift to The ARC’s VH Ag (Agriculture) Fund. Help support the growth of farms on Vinalhaven and help make healthy local food available to all, regardless of income.
For more information about The ARC VH Ag Fund, contact ARC Manager, Gabe McPhail