Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

VFC Cooperative Community Fund Grant Recipients

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 @ 12:27 PM

VFC CCF Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the recipients of our first-ever VFC Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) Grant!* Both of the organizations have projects that work with local food, the local food economy, and students. The Ferryville Farmers Market project focuses on mentoring students on the early stages of food production by way of planting, growing and selling food. The Youth Initiative High School students learn about the later stages of food production through entrepreneurial and culinary skills by running Food for Thought, a food truck business that also raises money for the school.

2018-CCF-FFMFerryville Farmers Market

A $500 grant was awarded to the Ferryville Farmers Market for a youth grower/vendor initiative, which recruits Middle School Students from home school, public and private schools of the region to be growers and sellers at the Ferryville Farmers Market.

Members of the Ferryville Farmers Market who are produce sellers will partner with interested students to mentor the students as they choose their seeds, determine optimal growing conditions, grow seedlings for starter plants and transplanting.

By introducing students to being a Farmers Market Vendor, the business opportunity is understood through experience. Having success at growing and selling will be a motivation to learn more, develop the business concepts and be rewarded through experiencing and seeing results. In turn, the students as vendors expand what is available and offered at the Market which grows the Market’s reputation. Customers have a natural tendency to want to support students. It is a positive environment for students as they learn about business concepts, such as: planning, marketing, merchandising, and customer service.



Youth Initiative High School

A $500 grant was awarded to YIHS for their school kitchen and the Food For

Thought (FFT) program. FFT is a food truck business run and operated by students, whose mission is to teach students culinary and entrepreneurial skills and doubles as a school fundraiser.

FFT is committed to sourcing organic ingredients from local farmers as much as possible. FFT appears each year at the Driftless Music Festival, the Driftless Art Festival, the Harvest Parade and other local events.

YIHS will use the grant money toward the purchase of necessary supplies and equipment for the FFT program, including cookware and knives.


*The VFC Cooperative Community Fund was established in 2016 with the specific goal of providing grant funding to local nonprofit organizations that have a mission consistent with the Viroqua Food Co+op. Priority is given to grant requests for educational projects, development projects, and local events that match VFC’s mission and focus on but are not necessarily limited to: food and food systems, nutrition, health and well-being, cooking education, sustainable agriculture, cooperative education, and social change. Learn more at:

Tags: Cooperative Community Fund