Ruah Swennerfelt lives in Charlotte with her husband, Louis Cox. The retired couple have inherited some money — and they want to make thoughtful decisions about how to invest it.

The couple attended a meeting last fall in Montpelier that was an inaugural event for a Vermont network of Slow Money, a national nonprofit organization founded in 2008 that encourages investments in local food systems. The financial payoffs might be slower and the returns smaller than those gained by more traditional investments, but investors benefit by putting their money to use in ways that are meaningful to them and their neighbors, advocates say.

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