The Abbey Group is proud to announce that on May 8th, 2020, we were selected to participate in the federal Farmers to Families Food Box Program. We are one of two contractors for the state of Vermont to earn this recognition. In April of 2020, the USDA announced the unprecedented program with the purpose of supplying locally sourced food to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vermont Foodbank, the Vermont National Guard, the Healthy Roots Collaborative, Green Mountain Farm to School and various local dairy processors worked collaboratively with The Abbey Group to craft the bid.
In a recent University of Vermont study, it was estimated that food insecurity rose 33% due to the current pandemic. The rapidly changing employment status of Vermont’s residents is largely to blame for this increase. The Farmers to Families Food Box Program aims to ensure food security for families in need. The program is in effect for the duration of May and June, with the possibility of extension. The program functions by connecting local farmers distributors. These farmers and distributors previously would have been working with restaurants and bulk purchasers. Distributors then package and supply family-sized food boxes to local contractors, such as The Abbey Group. Local contractors then distribute those boxes to those in need. Before the announcement of this program, The Abbey Group has been working tirelessly to provide wholesome meals to kids under 18, through their local schools since their closure in March.
Our Commitment to Local
The Abbey Group is no stranger to connecting local farmers to local families. As a food service group whose mission is to deliver the highest quality meals, utilize agricultural products from local growers, promote healthy choices and demonstrate a high level of customer service, The Abbey Group has the homegrown infrastructure and knowledge to help the Farmers to Families Food Box Program serve for our fellow Vermonters during this time of uncertainty.
For years, The Abbey Group has worked with a variety of local food producers both directly and indirectly. We do our best to prioritize direct relationships with these farms and producers whenever possible. Partnerships are solidified after satisfactory site inspections by our experienced personnel. The Farmers to Families Food Box Program has created an opportunity to call on our relationships with local producers to expand our reach. The Abbey Group is excited to step up and support our neighbors with the aid provided by the program. Abbey Thomas of Thomas Dairy noted that “participating in these events will really help in using excess milk supply that we are experiencing due to the pandemic’s burden on many of our customers. The effort, true to our little state, comes full circle; Vermonters helping Vermonters.”
Our first pick-up event will take place Friday, May 15th, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Edward F. Knapp State Airport.
For more information regarding the Farmers to Families Food Box Program visit the USDA’s website.
Founded in 1982, The Abbey Group is a family-owned food service management company. We specialize in handcrafted foods that use local ingredients. For more information visit The Abbey Group website.
For upcoming program pick-up locations and information, follow The Abbey Group’s Farmers to Families Twitter page.