New Chapter donation has lasting impact on Food Connects

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BRATTLEBORO — New Chapter, a Brattleboro-based wellness company, is leaving a lasting impact on the local food systems by being Food Connects highest-level corporate sponsor. New Chapter's donations in 2019 paved the way for what Food Connects says is the most successful first half of the year in its history.

New Chapter granted Food Connects $15,000 in 2019 to go towards the Food Connects Cooler Campaign. This campaign focused on the build of a new 1,000-square-foot cooler and freezer space at Food Connects' location at the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation business park. With the help of New Chapter, Food Connects' was able to complete this campaign and have a fully operational cooler and freezer going into 2020.

New Chapter was founded over 35 years ago to bring natural wellness to others. The company believes in the healing power of nature and says it is committed to using whole-food and quality ingredients to make supplements.

New Chapter has a history of philanthropic support of Food Connects, helping the organization through its infancy and into a thriving organization. In addition to financial support, New Chapter has also provided volunteer support over the years including event support and a New Chapter employee sitting on the Food Connects Board of Directors. Additionally, New Chapter supports the food hub by purchasing food for its employee cafeteria and snack programs.

"Supporting Food Connects' in their cooler campaign was an easy decision for us (New Chapter) to make. Their mission of bringing fresh local food to those in need, right here in Southern Vermont, aligns holistically with our own mission and is something that we are proud to be a part of," said Amerigo Pennoni, director of sustainability at New Chapter, in a news release.

The cooler and freezer are helping support Food Connects through one of its busiest periods yet. The demand for fresh, local food due to the COVID-19 outbreak increased dramatically. Food Connects saw an over 200 percent year-over-year increase in sales in April alone, typically the slowest month for the organization. The additional space ensured that Food Connects could continue to provide food for local co-ops, newly thriving farm stores and buying clubs, and students, through meals programs, while also supporting local farmers and food producers a consistent and secure source to sell their food.

"Food Connects is so grateful for the generosity of New Chapter over the years," said Richard Berkfield, Food Connects executive director. "Their continued commitment to Food Connects and our mission lifts up and strengthens our local food economy. Their partnership is vital to our work."

Food Connects plans to expand its refrigeration space even further in the coming weeks to keep up with the increasing demand for local food during COVID-19. If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, learn more on their website: https://www.foodconnects.org/sponsorship.

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