Thursday April 20, 2017
“Never underestimate the power of five families and local businesses coming together to make a difference!” So said Carol McQuillen, directing chair of Common Roots, whose mission is to connect farmers, educators, youth, and families in building a sustainable future through place-based food education and service programs. The local non-profit recently met its goal to provide kitchen equipment to their place of operation at the Wheeler Homestead on Dorset Street. The funds were raised at an art event held at the Davis Studio on Shelburne Road earlier this month. According to McQuillen, about 150 community members attended in support of the kitchen equipment goal, which success culminated in the purchase of a commercial refrigerator and freezer. The new equipment will support Common Roots’ Community Food Shares mission to provide more families in need with nutritious food.
“Thanks to this successful event, the second day of our Community Food Shares program will be the first week in May,” says McQuillen, adding, “Common Roots is currently planning culinary programs centered on nutrient-dense foods for this lovely kitchen as well.”
According to the organization, the fundraising effort began when the Ahmed-Buttar family wanted their daughter Hadia to become involved in the Community Food Shares program of Common Roots. Four other families also reached out to the organization in support of their mission of food education and access. McQuillen notes, “Before we knew it, members of the Ahmed-Buttar, Cutroni, McCarney, Philips, and Giulianelli families gathered around the table to brainstorm the kitchen equipment goal.”
McQuillen says another key ingredient to the successful event and fundraiser was the kind heart of Teresa Davis, “She gave us free access to the beautiful studio and Osman, who supported all the supplies.” In addition, the organization reports Merchant’s Bank offered a corporate sponsorship gift of $2,500, the Cutroni family matched dollar for dollar up to $3,500, and community partners City Market and Double Tree/Hilton provided plentiful, quality foods, volunteers, and more. The many silent auction items which came from generous local businesses piqued the interest of guests.
“This fun community event brought families together to make art, support Common Roots, and connect with one another. Thank you one and all who participated in this lovely evening in any way,” remarked McQuillen.
Common Roots reminds the community that they are offering CSA (community supported agriculture) shares for the first time. Learn more about the CSA shares at www.commonroots.org. The pick-up will be at the Farm at South Village, located at Allen Road and Spear Street. CSA purchases support five Common Roots programs, including their signature program, Farm to School, which has provided food lessons in each K-5 elementary classroom for eight years. This academic year, Common Roots has included South Burlington pre-school classrooms as well.