Feeds Our Soul
What feeds our soul is helping to feed yours. We know that a healthy community starts with a good meal, and we're here to help fight food insecurity for Vermonters and their families. With your help, we continue to expand our support of the Vermont Foodbank – knitting socks whose proceeds will go directly to the VTFB in the form of meals for hungry Vermonters.
Freedom & Unity
The Vermont state motto – Freedom & Unity – is the ultimate balancing act of values that guides Vermonters in life, work, and play. At Darn Tough, we embrace this social responsibility, showing up for each other, this community, just as much as we show up for ourselves. It’s the second part, the idea of Unity, that led to our partnership with the Vermont Foodbank.
It began with a humble donation of 266 lbs. of turkey. In 2017, we participated in our first Giving Tuesday. Having no idea where it would lead, we gave 100% of DarnTough.com profits to the Vermont Foodbank – about 35,000 meals.
Your responses pushed us to do more. One Giving Tuesday followed another, then another. Increased need during the 2020 pandemic spurred us to donate proceeds from the Jenerosity sock. By the end of 2021, we'd donated 1 million meals.
As Darn Tough continues to grow, we must up our giving game too.
There is no question that we will do it, the question is how can we do it better? The answer, for now, is Knit to Give.
Launched in 2022, Knit to Give is our commitment to release socks that will feature designs unique for this program and only for purchase on darntough.com. All profits from these socks will go to supporting the Foodbank. We’re not stopping our commitment to give back to the Foodbank each Giving Tuesday, just building on it.
Can You Pass the Maple Syrup?
Inspired by the luscious, sap-filled Maple trees growing in our backyard, the Sweet as Syrup sock pays homage to the sticky substance our state is famous for. Designed by one of our employees, this Lifestyle sock was knit to help feed Vermonters battling food insecurity – for every pair sold, we donate meals to the VTFB.
Honeybee: What's the Buzz?
This sock came to bee from one of our employee design contests – it’s the first Knit to Give style to feature artwork designed by one of our own. We bring socks like this to life to help showcase our values of conserving food and limited food waste. Turning socks like the Honeybee into meals is how we Knit to Give.
Knit To Give: Preserve
Preserving what makes Vermont special is important to us. We Knit to Give by making socks that showcase our values – like conserving food and limiting food waste. The better we do this, the more meals we can provide to hungry families in our community and around the state.
Knit to Give: Barnyard
We also commit to knitting these socks – like the Barnyard – with overstock yarn. This allows us to give new life to raw materials that have no defined future, and in turn, better sustain life in Vermont. This is the first sock we knit specifically for the VTFB, and we’re excited to say that it won’t be the last. We’re on a mission to continue that trend – knitting socks that help give back to our community, one meal at a time.
There’s no end game. No specific number of meals that we will donate, no contract to fulfill. If you know us, you know we don’t chase perfect, we work toward better. There are milestones and goals along the way, there are local guest celebrities and even TV appearances (hi Mom!).
Partnering with the Vermont Foodbank to fight hunger in our home state has enabled us to reflect on our Unconditional Guarantee in a new way. Guaranteeing we will work towards a Vermont that can support us all – that to us is unconditional. We know we have just scratched the surface, and with your support, we have yet to even fathom what’s possible.
At the root of the issue, fighting hunger embodies Darn Tough’s values – supporting our community and putting family first. Vermont is our home, it’s where we knit our socks, but more importantly, it’s where we live, where we play, where we raise our children, and support our neighbors. In Vermont and in Darn Tough, we realized hunger is an issue that we could truly make a difference in.
We are constantly trying to find new ways to help support the Foodbank. From donating turkey to Giving Tuesdays to knitting Limited Edition socks, we are always looking to up our giving game. Our employees also volunteer at the Foodbank and look for ways to get involved with their hands, not just through their feet.
Our first Giving Tuesday in 2017, we donated 100% of DarnTough.com profits to the Vermont Foodbank, resulting in about 35,000 meals. Since then, every Giving Tuesday has been a day to raise donations to give back to the Vermont Foodbank.
Feeding America defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a household or can last a long time. Food insecurity is one way we can measure how many people cannot afford food.
While there are many causes of food insecurity, it stems from the struggle for many Americans to meet their basic needs. A lay-off at work or unexpected car maintenance can lead a family to choose between buying food or paying bills. You can find out more about the causes of food insecurity on Feeding America’s website.
Giving back can take many forms. Whether you buy a Knit to Give sock (all profits support the Vermont Foodbank), donate money directly to the organization, or donate your time by volunteering at one of their many volunteer opportunities, you can find a way to help Vermonters in need. Find out how to get involved here.