Andrea Solazzo is the Gleaning and Community Outreach Coordinator at Vermont Food Bank. Andrea joined Vermont Food Bank team a year ago and brings a diverse set of experiences and skills. Andrea attended Eckerd College in Florida studying Political Science and Religious Studies and continued to work there after graduation developing opportunities for students to travel abroad and immerse themselves in agricultural and environmental projects. Additionally, she has worked on an array of climate justice and food sovereignty issues for the United Nations, La Via Campesina, and across Vermont farms. She continues to dig at these issues through her work at the Vermont Food Bank.
Why do you do what you do?
My work addresses the need for fresh vegetables and distribution of fresh vegetables to rural Vermont and the Burlington area. It is inspiring to see people take charge of their health and make vegetables a part of their diet. There is a high demand for fresh vegetables at area food shelves and we try to support food shelf clients choices for a healthy, balanced diet..
What are you working on? What are your most urgent concerns?
The Vermont Food Bank alleviates hunger by gathering food from farms, grocery stores, distributors, and distributing the food to members of the community. My work focuses on harvesting produce at area farms and helping distribute it area food shelves. The produce we gather produce from farms is often used mobile food pantry, which goes to low-income senior housing sites and food shelves across the state. We are fortunate and very appreciative of all the farms and farmers that support our work and allow us to gather produce on their fields.
How can the FSNE Network help you overcome or address those concerns? How can FSNE help build support of awareness for your concerns?
It would be great to learn about what people are doing in food access around the region, especially how they are outreaching to specific populations in need. In addition to the annual Summit, it would be fantastic to have a food access monthly report that takes an in-depth focus on a food access program. I would appreciate learning about how organizations are identifying community members needs and shaping their food access programs around those needs.