Lisa and her husband Ray at VFFC’s Harvest Festival in 2019 Mary Hickey

Lisa loved to garden. She love, loved, farmers markets and all things local food. Lisa and her family embody the definition of bringing people together around food; always sharing their exceptional culinary abilities and using foods sourced with deep reverence for the interconnectedness of our earth and one another. 

Lisa’s generous heart and talents infuse every bit of VFFC’s work. Being a small entrepreneurial organization here at VFFC, we often refer to ourselves as a scrappy family— working together, doing whatever it takes to serve our community and mission. As a volunteer board member, Lisa was always right there in the thick of it with us. From putting on our annual Harvest Festival; to launching our Online Market in the height of the pandemic; to coaching our team through spreadsheets, financial analysis, and systems operations—Lisa cared deeply and gave selflessly to advancing VFFC’s vision of food systems transformation. 

She was a friend and mentor, especially during critical moments of organizational growth. Lisa always brought wisdom and incredible work ethic to every situation we faced. Literally a family endeavor, Lisa’s husband donates his time and musicianship to VFFC’s fundraisers and her two sons became part of VFFC’s team, serving stints as volunteers, interns and staff. They started preparing and serving meals out of VFFC’s kitchen during the pandemic and were then instrumental in the launch of Everyone Eats at VFFC. Lisa’s sons share her passions and are both pursuing culinary and food systems careers. 

We honor our beloved Board member, Farmacy participant, dear friend and unique and wonderful human, Mary Hickey. 

Mary was a long time Rutland resident, born and raised in the small town of Chelsea, Vermont where she grew up playing in the woods near the family’s uninsulated house, with just a wood stove to keep warm. Mary loved to tell stories - of all the trials and tribulations she overcame during her life which were many, of her partner Charlotte, her daughters, and grandchildren whom she loved, and her story of how she came to be one of our weekly visitors here at the food center. Six years ago she heard about our Farmacy program at VFFC, showed up unannounced, and quickly became a part of our VFFC family, finding connection through local food. Over the last few years Mary became a staple here - she was a community leader at her senior housing center and helped us organize Everyone Eats meals throughout the pandemic, she was our resident cheerleader, and just last year she became a member of the VFFC Board of Directors where she was a voice of community, compassion, and empathy bringing her lived experience to the table.

Mary always brought positive energy to every moment with our staff and board, and her personality was contagious and bright, even after overcoming so much during her life. On many Thursdays over the past few years we would hear a car pull up and Mary’s cane tapping as she walked to our door to sit and be with us as we ran around running all of our programs. Sometimes she would just sit and watch us, telling stories even if we could only half listen amidst the busyness of the day, other times helping when and where she could. We will miss all of those small moments that meant so much to her and to us. We are honored to have been a big part of her life during her last few years.

Mary’s life story is one of resiliency and hope. We will continue to bring her story, her wisdom and those values into everything we do here at VFFC on a daily basis.

With appreciation and gratitude for Mary and Lisa's abundant gifts and their influence and impact on our lives and on our work together, we know that their spirits of nurturing, generosity and hospitality, will continue to infuse the work we do.

Thank you Mary and Lisa.

In honor of Mary and Lisa's love for the local food system and their work with VFFC, donations can be made to VFFC in their memory's.

Make a donation in Mary or Lisa's memory