Why am I here? Not in the existential sense, but how did I end up at the Vermont Foodbank and why does it feel so right to be here? Mom and Dad both grew up on farms in Minnesota, and my Dad’s parents lost their farm in the Great Depression, experiencing what we now call “food insecurity.” Both my parents had long left the farm (I was raised in suburban Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C. and we never even had a garden) when I was born. Ours was a family with 5 kids, and there was always food to eat. But I remember Mom stretching – mixing fresh milk with powdered, avoiding expensive prepared food, buying in bulk and freezing, sometimes making preserves and even baking her own bread every week.

I was raised in a house where whole foods were turned into meals and not much was wasted. It was also a house that practiced respect and compassion for others. I learned from experience that all people had something positive to offer in our society. Our house was full of all kinds of people, not just people like us, and we were frequently doing things to help others. That was just the way it was, and here at the Vermont Foodbank it’s just the way it is, and I am surrounded by people who clearly have the same vision and heart. We do things that help other people because that is the way we live our lives, whether at work, home or in our communities.
That’s why I’m here.

  • “Justice” feels like a big word these days, no matter what word precedes it: food, health, racial, economic, migrant, equal . . . I could go on. In digging into the meaning of “justice,” I am left unsatisfied because the definitions and descriptions feel subjective and kind of squishy.

  • For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling optimistic. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), passed by Congress and signed on March 11 by President Biden, brings much needed support to families hit hard economically by the pandemic.

  • Oppression and Hunger A post by Vermont Foodbank CEO, John Sayles June 1, 2020 –As we wake up to another morning of news about demonstrations across the country, it’s time[...]