VAND Pyramid Award

Previously called the VDA Pyramid Award

Eligibility Requirements:

·For individuals who have made a significant contribution to the health of Vermonters by promoting healthy eating habits, but who may not be members of VAND or not active in VAND.


VDA Pyramid Award Recipients:

2017-Bernie Sanders

As representative of Vermont in the House of Representatives and now as Senator for the state of Vermont, Bernie has always recognized the importance of proper nutrition for all ages from children to senior citizens. He has supported all nutrition program funding to allow education and support services to be provided to those in need. From the Child Nutrition Program to the Older Americans Act, Bernie has supported dietitians' efforts to provide education, training, and good nutrition.


2016- Fresh Food, an Enterprise of Vermont Works For Women

FRESH Food, Vermont Works for Women’s social enterprise, helps bring good nutrition to young children while training women for careers in food service and supporting local agriculture.  Last year 26% of ingredients were sourced locally! Each weekday they provide 150-200 nutritious meals to children aged 2-6. In 2015 they served 30,983 meals! Using a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and foods made from scratch children are able to experience delicious, real food. These meals also exceed the Child and Adult Care Food Program and programs are able to get reimbursed for the meals.

The women in the culinary training program learn the importance of these food guidelines and how to create balanced meals. Twenty five women and youth completed the 13 week culinary training program in 2015 with 80% of completers gaining employment after the program. FRESH Food incorporates nutrition education in the culinary curriculum and for parents of the children receiving the meals, so the education extends well beyond the kitchen or classroom. They really practice what they preach; there is a ban on sugary drinks in the kitchen! I think this program is well deserving of this award for the good nutrition they bring to the many children and adults they serve. They are doing amazing boots on the ground work with high payoff results!

2015- Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC)

For the past two years the VYCC Health Care Share provided freshly grown produce and poultry to food insecure families through partnerships with CVMC and FAHC.  This year the program served 260 Vermont families — approximately 1,000 individuals at no cost. 

All at-risk youth engaged on VYCC’s farm were also given a Health Care Share. Participants not only received produce but also learned more about maintaining a healthy diet: how to shop on a budget; how to find local, healthy food; and how to cook and store produce. Weekly newsletters included recipes, and Hunger Free Vermont’s Learning Kitchen course was available to 30 participants. Health Care Share also helped medical center partners connect families to nutrition therapy services. 

This program is an example of how a significant need was and is met by a creative solution through partnerships and generous donations by CVMC and FAHC employees as well as local businesses.

2014- Hunger Free Vermont, nominated by Marcia Bristow, MS, RD, CD.  Hunger Free Vermont is being recognized for the organization’s insatiable efforts, passion and interest to help eliminate the injustices of hunger in our state. Their mission is providing local communities with tools and education to create sustainable food programs that ensure access to nutritious food for all Vermonters.  Hunger Free Vermont leads a comprehensive and effective approach to address hunger in our state, providing outreach and education on nutrition programs including school meals and 3SquareVT. Additionally, they provide education to community members through the Learning Kitchen, and Hunger Education for Health Professionals. The work of the organization has been instrumental in fighting hunger

2013-  Black River Produce, nominated by Diane Imrie and FAHC Nutrition Services Black River Produce (BRP) has shown a tremendous commitment to the Vermont community of farmers and producers.  They have supported and facilitated the growth of small companies, the implementation of the Farm to Plate statewide initiative, and simply the purchasing of local, healthy products by institutions. BRP is a critical component of the Vermont local food framework and should be recognized for not only their role but also how seriously they partner with us to enable us to provide healthy food in health care.

2010- Fletcher Allen Health Care  Diane Imrie, MBA, RD:   Diane has 20 years of experience working in a variety of healthcare food service operations. For the past 12 years she has worked as Director of Nutrition Services at Fletcher Allen Health Care, responsible for clinical, retail, and patient Nutrition Services. Recent work at that organization includes the implementation of new retail services, room service for patients, and a food sustainability program that is nationally recognized. Diane received the first Fletcher Allen CEO leadership award, titled "Living the Leadership Philosophy". She is passionate about local food, both personally and professionally, and is the co-author of a cookbook highlighting seasonal cooking titled “Cooking Close to Home”.

2007- Dr. Barbara Frankowski, MD, MPH
         Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, PHd, RD
2006- Representative Mitzi Johnson, Abbie Nelson, VT FEED
         In commemoration of Representative Rosemary "Rozo" McLaughlin
2005- Jo Busha, Vermont Department of Education
         Helen Ballard, Vermont Department of Education
         Laurie Colgan, Vermont Department of Education
2004- Molly Holland, MPH, RD, CD
         Jeanne B. Kennedy, VDA's Lobbyist
2003- Robin Edelman, MS, RD, CD, CDE
         Pat Laggis, Cabot Creamery
2002- Janice Waterman, RD, CD, CDE
         Lyn Jarvis, Producer, Across the Fence
2001- Sue Johansen, RD,CD,CDE, FAHC, Green Mountain Nutrition Assoc.
         The Campaign to End Childhood Hunger
2000- Kathryn Backes, MPH, RD, NEDFC  
         Nathaniel Clark, MD, Vermont Regional Diabetes Center
1999- Jane Ross, PhD, RD, CD  UVM  
         Edward Leib, MD, FAHC
1998- Betsy Hiser, MS, RD  
         Debbie Soloman, Burlington Free Press