Our Study Finds 14.3 Million Pounds of Food Lost Annually from Vermont Farms

Salvation Farms is proud to release the Vermont Food Loss on Farms Study, recently produced by our team and Isgood Community Research.

Food loss occurs when edible, quality food is neither sold or donated and therefore goes uneaten. Our analysis, based on farmer surveys we administered this spring and available agricultural data, is to our knowledge the first empirical study measuring food loss on Vermont farms.

Read our full study here.Screenshot of interview with Theresa Snow on CCTV

Our new estimate for food loss: 14.3 million pounds of wholesome vegetables & berries are lost in Vermont annually – enough to fill 7,000 pickup trucks

Of the 14.3 million:

...32% is unpicked although still edible. The top reason (cited by nearly half of the farmers) for leaving the crop in the field: blemishes
<<< “Naturally beautiful” carrots like the one pictured often do not make it to market.

...68% is harvested produce, neither sold nor donated.

With all the variables in farming, surplus is inevitable - but waste at this scale doesn't have to be. Gleaning operations in Vermont are currently capturing under 5% of the 14.3 million pounds. Salvation Farms continues working with partners in all corners of the state to increase the capture and efficient distribution of this surplus and get more Vermont-grown food onto people’s plates.

Find the full study here:
Food Loss in Vermont: Estimating Annual Vegetable and Berry Loss

How Do I Help?
Donate - Help Us Reach Our Summer Goal

How We Meet Our Mission

Utilizing local resources, skills and knowledge, we create strong partnerships across industries and sectors to effectively move surplus food from farms to those who need it.


Salvation Farms in the news:

Vermont Commodity Program Launch - Agri-View,, October 2016

Training Workers, Rescuing Food - Vermont Farm to Plate Atlas (feature), published 10/2016

Market Seen for Vermont Food That's Going to Waste - VT Digger (feature), 10/10/16

14 Million Pounds of Food Lost on Vermont Farms - Lancaster Farming, 10/1/16

Salvation Farms Launches Workforce Skill-Building Program that Reduces Food Loss on Vermont Farms - VT Digger, 9/30/16

Hometown Help: Meals on Wheels adds food from local farms to its menu - The Stowe Reporter, 9/15/16

Food Waste in Vermont Larger Than Expected - The Stowe Reporter, 8/19/16

14.3 Million Pounds of Produce Going to Waste on VT Farms, Local Groups Looking to Change That - ABC Local 22 TV, 8/18/16

Study Shows ‘Shocking’ Level of Wasted Produce - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 8/6/16

Upper Valley Group Hopes To Bridge Gap Between Food Waste And Food Insecurity In Vermont - VPR, 8/3/16

Vermont Brewery's Beer Benefits Food-Insecure Families - NBC Channel 5 TV 7/27/16

Excess Farm Food to be Rescued in Winooski - Burlington Free Press, 7/8/16

Theresa Snow and Salvation Farms: Bringing Food Security to Vermont - Edible Green Mountains, 5/15/16

Vermont Gleans Crops for Food Waste Event - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 5/10/16

Salvation Farms' Programs Turn Surplus Into Plenty - Seven Days, 4/10/16

Measuring Food Waste: Salvation Farms Takes Gleaning to a New Level - The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, 2/5/16

Alt Text: Screenshot of interview with Theresa Snow on CCTV

<<< Interview with our Executive Director, Theresa Snow - CCTV, with the Vermont Workers Center, October 2015.

No Crop Left Behind: Gleaning for a Food Secure Future - England Grassroots Environment Fund, Fall 2015

Salvation Farms: Resilience Through Food Surplus Management - Sustainability Institute at University of New Hampshire, Fall 2015

More Salvation Farms in the News here

  • What's Happening

    Autumn Updates: Program Launch & More

    Posted on


    “Anything that’s too small, too big, maybe discolored a little bit, misshapen a little bit, if it has some scarring – for the most part none of that stuff goes to our wholesale market or farmers markets,” stated Hilary Martin, a Co-Owner of Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm in an interview with Local 22.

    Michelle, a Vermont Gleaning Collective volunteer, gleans potatoes with her son and Salvation Farms.

    Here we are – the height, and now the winding down, of the fall harvest season. Although farmers face tough harvest and marketing choices all growing season, at this time of year, with a reduction in seasonal employees, shorter days, and threats of frost, … Read More

    Check Out Salvation Farms in the News!