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'Vermont Strong' license plates have raised $1 million for flood relief so far

A man in a white button-down shirt stands at a podium and holds up a license plate that reads "We are Vermont strong. Tough, too! '23"
Bob Kinzel
Vermont Public
Gov. Phil Scott presents a new Vermont Strong license plate at a news conference Aug. 1.

Gov. Phil Scott says the state has raised $1 million from the sale of 22,000 "Vermont Strong" plates so far, and the money has been distributed to businesses, homeowners and renters.

Speaking at a press conference Monday, the governor announced a campaign to raise another million dollars to help meet the ongoing needs of many homeowners, renters and businesses.

He says the primary focus now is helping individuals in four specific areas.

"From a lack of heat, to buying food because their local grocery store is still closed or even cooking it because their kitchen isn't usable, to paying bills because flood repairs weren't in the budget, to needing mental health services with all this on their shoulders," Scott says.

Dan Smith is the president of the Vermont Community Foundation — an organization that has helped distribute flood relief funds.

He says the plates carry an important message.

"When you see that coming down the other way on the road, it sends a message that somebody who may (be) wondering in the context of this world, 'Who's got my back?' ... We have each other's back and it's one of the most inspiring things about Vermont and about Vermont communities," Smith says.

The plates are available at many retail outlets throughout the state.

"When you see that coming down the other way on the road, it sends a message that somebody who may (be) wondering in the context of this world, 'Who's got my back?' ... We have each other's back."
Dan Smith, president of the Vermont Community Foundation

The Vermont Community Foundation also says it's raised over $12 million to help businesses, homeowners and renters affected by this summer's floods.

Smith says his organization has also just completed work on a series of grants to help farmers who reported serious damage to their hay, corn and vegetable crops.

"We just closed out a $1.5 million program in close coordination with the Agency of Agriculture supporting flood affected Vermont farmers — it was roughly 150 different farms received grants directly from the Flood Fund to support their cash flow going into the winter months," Smith says.

The Agency of Agriculture estimates that roughly 30,000 acres of farmland were damaged by the summer floods.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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