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:

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

    Salvation Farms at the Forefront

    Posted on


    We recently discovered — in our Food Loss Study released in June — that Vermont may be losing 14.3 million pounds of wholesome produce on our farms each year. Wholesome food that is not picked (or is picked but not sold or donated) is considered “lost” food.

    Imperfections are bound to occur when food grows. For instance, carrots growing close together may twist around each other, or upon encountering a pebble may bend or sprout new offshoots…as pictured above. Imperfections are one reason that food might not make it to market. (You may recognize these images from our ongoing summer fundraising campaign and dollar-for-dollar match. Read more about it here!)

    This loss … Read More

    Check Out Salvation Farms in the News!