This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2021 Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing legislative policy solutions related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The 11 priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.

Farm to School and Early Childhood

Vermont Farm to School is a nationally recognized initiative that supports Vermont’s economy, communities, and healthy development and learning for Vermont’s children. In 2017, Act 63, the Farm to School bill, was signed into law allowing both registered and licensed child care providers to be eligible for Vermont Farm to School grants. The Alliance supports Vermont FEED, Hunger Free Vermont, and champion organizations in their efforts to fully fund Farm to School and Early Childhood at $500,000 each year.

This level of funding ensures early childhood settings serving children ages birth through grade 3 can access program funding for gardening and farm visits, food procurement planning, professional development, and infrastructure and equipment.

Continue reading for more information on this priority issue, including data and talking points, connections to the lead organizations, and advocacy tools.


Data and Talking Points




  • 91% of early childhood education providers polled are interested in implementing Farm to Early Childhood programming, yet only 21% have been able to access Farm to Early Childhood professional development opportunities.
  • The Farm to School and Early Childhood Grants program has engaged over 50,000 Vermont students since 2007. Nearly 50 early childhood education programs have received grants in the last few years.
  • Every dollar spent on local food contributes an additional 60 cents to the local economy.

Nourishing Children’s Bodies and Minds

Vermont Farm to School and Early Childhood has been shown to influence eating habits, create healthy lifestyles, support experiential learning opportunities, improve healthy food access, support teachers’ knowledge of nutrition, and address childhood obesity. As Vermont works to provide high quality early childhood services, as many children as possible should receive the benefits of the Farm to School and Early Childhood program – access to healthy foods, food and nutrition education, and community connections.


Lead Organizations:


Resources and Advocacy Tools


Get Involved

  • Advocate to increase funding for the Farm to School and Early Childhood Program. To submit a written statement, please reach out to Cynthia Greene, Farm to Early Childhood Network Coordinator, at
  • Join the Farm to School and Early Childhood email list.
  • Sign a Supporter Card or Write a Letter to the Editor: Have a story you'd like to share about what Farm to School and Early Childhood means to you? Want to motivate others to join the effort to expand our programs? You can sign a supporter card or write a letter to the editor of your local daily and weekly papers to expand public knowledge of the importance of Farm to School and Early Childhood and gain press attention for this important issue in your town and region. Visit our campaign page for Supporter Card information and tips for writing a letter to the editor.

Schedule an Advocacy Training

Schedule an Alliance training for a group of early childhood professionals, providers, parents, or employers interested in strengthening their advocacy skills or learning more about the issues on the Alliance’s Legislative Agenda. Be informed and ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont's young children and families!

To set up a training, email Matt Levin, Alliance Executive Director, at


The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


15 State Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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