Eliza Butler, our Director of Internal Community Building, began an exciting developments regarding our local partner, the Vermont Food Bank. Food insecurity has emerged as a critical public health issue in the state, with more than 8,600 citizens relying on the charitable food system every year. The mission of the Vermont Food Bank is to “gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry” (For more information, visit their website at www.vtfoodbank.org). To achieve this, the organization has formed a coalition with food retailers, manufacturers, farmers and other sources around the state to collect quality goods. The food stream is then allocated to Network Partners (Including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters etc.), who distribute the food to the most vulnerable populations. Given our commitment to food justice in an international context, the chapter believed a partnership with the Vermont Food Network would be extremely valuable. The organization will be enlisting us as communications personnel in order to tell the stories of food stamp recipients and local producers that are a part of the Vermont Foodbank community.
It was also announced that Hannah Geldermann will be the 2013 GROW Trip Coordinator. She, along with one or two fellow chapter members, will be working on-site for a 6-8 week internship with GHI. We couldn’t have chosen a better ambassador to represent GlobeMed at Middlebury!
Investments in infrastructure and administrative growth – otherwise known as overhead – are seen as necessary expenditures to sustain long-term stability. However, unlike the for-profit sector, non-profits are expected to cut any costs that don’t directly enhance their service. Dissecting the “Overhead myth” was the topic for this week’s GlobalHealthU. It essentially calls into question the double standard between corporations and NGOs, arguing instead that spending on communications, monitoring and evaluations, salaries, fundraising and other internal development needs are inseparable for the intervention itself. In other words, it should be the outcomes that measure performance of an organization, not how trim their budget is. A provocative TED talk delivered by Dan Pallotta sparked some really engaging conversation:
The partnership between GlobeMed at Middlebury and Gardens for Health International has chosen to acknowledge capacity building needs by designing their annual project around an unrestricted grant. Born out of this past summer’s internships with GHI, this will allow the organization to allocate funding to support their operational costs as they continue to expand and effectively address chronic malnutrition in Rwanda.