H.O.P.E. is many times the first touch for people in need in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK). H.O.P.E. operates with the minimum of paperwork, delivering services immediately in many instances. This is seen in our emergency food shelf, the only five-day-a-week food shelf within 50 miles; and our ability to work with emergencies regarding domestic abuse and fire victims the very same day. Our Backpack Program delivers 85 backpacks of food to food-insecure families each Friday throughout the school year. We work with eight area elementary and high schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (NEK). Providing seven meals over the weekend goes a long way in meeting the needs of families identified by schools, agencies, and individuals here in the NEK. Our thrift store provides clothing for people in need five days a week at little or no cost. In the first six months of 2019, H.O.P.E. distributed 633 emergency food bags, 1,117 backpacks of food, 78 adult clothing vouchers, 333 children’s clothing vouchers, and helped 16 homeless individuals with tents, sleeping bags, food, and clothing.
We feel all of our services are absolutely essential for the people of the NEK we work with each and every day. Providing basic needs as we do addresses a wide variety of issues confronting people in this economically depressed community. In particular, however, if awarded a We Care 2 donation we would funnel the funds directly into our Backpack Program. This would have an immediate and continual effect for 85 children throughout the school year. Not only have the number of families requesting food backpacks increased yearly, but our costs have as well.