With food and fuel prices continuing to rise and pandemic-era relief programs expiring, many of our neighbors are struggling to feed their families. Together, we can help. Last week we kicked off our early summer round-up program for the Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank partners with 220 food pantries around the state to help combat food insecurity in Vermont.
While food banks across the country are seeing a dramatic increase in demand (up a reported 85%), about 55% of food banks say they have seen a decrease in food donations. And the food that they’re able to purchase is more expensive (and harder to find) than ever. Food banks are paying 40% more for food purchases to keep up with demand and make up for fewer food donations.
This is also true in Vermont, where food insecurity is a growing concern. WCAX recently reported that 27% of Vermonters are currently experiencing food insecurity, up from 10% before the pandemic.
In this Valley News article, published on April 17, the Vermont Foodbank’s CEO, John Sayles, said they’ve also seen a steep increase in demand for its VeggieVanGo program, which provides fresh produce to people at pickup locations around the state, including at Woodstock Union High School. In the same article, a representative from the Listen Center’s food panty in White River Junction said that March was the busiest month ever.
The Vermont Foodbank depends on donors and volunteers to carry out their mission of feeding Vermonters in need. Thank you to our cashier team, in advance, for leading the fundraising charge yet again. And thank you to our customers who continue to say, “yes, I want to help.”