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Rising Food Insecurity And Hunger Relief Amid The Pandemic

Volunteers at the Winooksi Food Shelf follow new COVID-19 safety protocols and arrange a Saturday food pick-up program outdoors.
Matthew Smith
Vermont Public Radio
Volunteers at the Winooksi Food Shelf follow new COVID-19 safety protocols and arrange a Saturday food pick-up program outdoors. "Vermont Edition" talks about rising food insecurity and relief programs.

Growing unemploymentis challenging many Vermont households with meeting basic needs, including putting food on the table. We’re talking about rising food insecurity during the pandemic and what hunger relief resources are available.

Our guests are:

  • Martha Carey, manager of the Manchester Community Food Cupboard in Manchester Center
  • Meredith Nilesan assistant professor in UVM's Nutrition and Food Sciences Department who led a survey on food access and food security during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Anore Horton, executive director of Hunger Free Vermont, a nonprofit focused on combating hunger and malnutrition.
  • Sgt. Caleb Lewis, a truck driver with A Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion of the Vermont National Guard who helped distribute MREs in Swanton and Rutland.

Upcoming distribution of MREs, or "meals ready to eat" from the Vermont National Guard and the Vermont Food Bank (9 a.m. to6 p.m. each day):

  • Wednesday, April 29, at Hartness State Airport in North Springfield
  • Thursday, April 30, at William H Morse State Airport in Bennington
  • Friday, May 1, at Northeast Kingdom International Airport in Newport
  • Friday, May 1, at Folsom Education Center in South Hero

Other hunger relief resources in Vermont:

  • 3SquaresVT, the state distribution program of federal SNAP (previously food stamp) benefits, which will be expanded in April and May.
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a federal nutrition program offering free boxes of food to income-eligible older adults, which will also see more food in coming weeks.
  • Your local food shelf, with 215 different sites in Vermont, including meal sites, senior centers and homeless shelters.
  • Veggie Van Go, which offers fresh food distribution through schools and hospitals.
  • WIC (Women, Infants and Children), which has expanded enrollment and eligible food for hard-to-find-items, as well as doing new enrollments by phone.
  • Vermont 211, which can connect Vermonters to community groups, social services and health agencies.

??Broadcast live on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 2 p.m.; rebroadcast at 8 p.m.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.
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