Round Up in June to Grow Local Farms

During June, you can round up the change from your purchases to benefit the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund; created through a partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.

Typically co-op customers contribute between $4000 and $7000 to a non profit throughout a month-long Round Up Donation Drive, but our co-op’s Board of Directors hopes to raise more to meet the need for this grant opportunity. Last year local farmers applied for three times as much money as was available to distribute from the fund, all for worthy improvements. Everything donated by community members via our co-op goes directly to these projects.

“We hope shoppers will take advantage of the ability to round their purchases up to the nearest $5 or $10 to donate more, since this is the easiest way for people to make a donation” Says Kathleen Burke, our co-op’s Board President “This fund is so effective; the grants distributed this year have enabled three local farmers to scale up production to meet the demand from our local community just by installing bigger coolers and a frost-free irrigation system.”

The $9,800 raised for the Farm Fund in 2016 was distributed this spring to Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, Archway Farm in Keene and Flying Cloud Dairy in Alstead. These farms sell their products at the co-op, The Farmers Market of Keene and at small local retailers and farm stands around our region. Check out the article about Manning Hill Farm’s project in the latest issue of Monadnock Table Magazine!

The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund supports several of our cooperative’s Ends, including a healthy, sustainable food system, the support of local farmers and producers and a strong, sustainable and improving local economy. The Cheshire County Conservation District supports the viability of farm businesses and the stewardship of natural resources that farmers provide.

Sarah Costa & her partner Sam Canonica of Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, recent recipients of a grant from the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund. The couple were able to install a larger, more efficient and accessible cooler to store their grass-fed, non-homogenized milk. The cooler allows them to store and sell all the milk their cows produce, rather than wasting the product that could not fit in their old cooler on bottling days.