Helping feed Vermonters through Food Box Program
Food insecurity – the lack of reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food – is on the rise across Vermont and around the country, largely a result of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent UVM survey, food insecurity since the start of the virus has risen from 18 to 24% in the state. Last month, the Vermont Foodbank distributed 1.8 million pounds of food through partners statewide–83% more than normal.
With the need so great, Shelburne Farms is proud to be participating in the “Farmers to Families” Food Box program, which is distributing fresh locally sourced produce, meat, and dairy products to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are supplying 300 pounds of our 6-month and/or 1-year cheddar each week to this effort – 600 half-pound blocks.
The program is part of a larger USDA funded initiative, and is a collaboration of the Vermont Foodbank, the Abbey Group, the State of Vermont, and the Vermont National Guard. These institutions are joining together to distribute organized boxes of Vermont food products at drive-through events scheduled throughout the state. (Find the next event in your area.)
We are proud to be a small part of this effort by Vermonters to feed Vermonters, and we thank our Congressional delegation, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Representative Peter Welch, for their support of this program. Senator Leahy remarked when the USDA funding to Vermont was announced, that the successful applications “…are a true reflection of Vermont’s collaborative and resilient local food system. Winning these contracts means that Vermonters will continue to feed Vermonters, and that our local farmers will have new ways of putting food onto our communities’ tables.”