Location: Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Franklin/Grand Isle, Rutland, and Washington counties; the Windham region; the Lamoille Valley; the Northeast Kingdom; and the Upper Valley
Website: Hunger Free Vermont
Numbers of Vermonters Impacted: 166,374
Date: September 01, 2016
Contributed By: VSECU
In the midst of Vermont’s beautiful rural landscape, the presence of hunger and food insecurity is often hidden from view. Nonetheless, it is achingly real for thousands of Vermonters. One in ten Vermonters, including one in seven children, self-identify themselves as food-insecure – that is, they do not always know when they will eat again or what they will eat. However, the number of our state’s residents who live on the razor’s edge of vulnerability to hunger is much higher: according to the U.S. Census, 166,374 Vermont residents have incomes low enough to qualify them for federal food assistance programs such as 3SquaresVT.
Meanwhile, each region of Vermont has unique challenges to improving access to healthy foods for their citizens. Hunger Free Vermont’s ten hunger councils collectively convene 925 community leaders and members from varied sectors to address hunger at the local level. Hunger Free Vermont provides the backbone necessary to coordinate all the logistics for the councils and deliver education on hunger issues and potential solutions. VSECU’s donation will make it possible for the hunger council members to play their crucial role in amplifying the work of Hunger Free Vermont in their regions.
“In every region where we have an established hunger council, we can point to increased numbers of food-insecure residents accessing available nutrition programs,” remarks Marissa Parisi, executive director of Hunger Free Vermont, “VSECU’s generous support will keep all our councils going strong and power our new councils that just launched in the last two years to be able to make the same sort of impacts on increasing healthy food access in their communities.”