The Vermont Country Store has committed $10,000 to the Vermont Foodbank to support the Co-op Buying Program that will help local food shelves get through the bleak winter months. The Vermont Foodbank has identified 10 food shelves in southern Vermont to participate, which are experiencing exploding demand and a shortage of resources at the same time that 3SquaresVT benefits have been cut for thousands of low-income households across the state.
The Vermont Country Store’s gift provides matching support of $1,000 for each of the participating food shelves that effectively doubles their purchasing power when ordering from the Vermont Foodbank to buy staples that are available at pennies on the dollar. In addition, The Vermont Country Store put out a challenge to other businesses to contribute $10,000 or more, with the commitment of another $10,000 donation to the program. Champlain Investment Partners of Burlington accepted the challenge and has committed $10,000 bringing the total matching dollars to $30,000.
“We’re very concerned about the problem of hunger facing Vermont, and I see it as something that we all can do something about,” said Eliot Orton, proprietor of The Vermont Country Store. “By channeling our resources into the Co-Op Buying Program, we know that we are getting nutritious food to the most vulnerable people in the communities where our employees live and work. It’s a practical and effective approach to help these food shelves that are scrambling to keep up with demand.”
The support couldn’t come at a better time, according to The Vermont Foodbank. “January and February are historically very tough months for food shelves and meal sites,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “This year in particular, we’re bracing for the impact that reduced 3SquaresVT benefits will have on families who are already struggling. We’re fortunate to partner with The Vermont Country Store who jumped at the chance to try this new approach that we believe will make a real impact.”
The Vermont Foodbank and The Vermont Country Store welcome other businesses and organizations to come on board by making contributions that will serve their local area. “I am challenging businesses across the state to step up and become a part of the Co-Op Buying Program, so that food shelves in every part of Vermont can help every hungry neighbor,” said Eliot Orton. “This is a new take on the old-fashioned model of neighbor helping neighbor.”
To contribute to the Co-Op Buying Program, contact the Vermont Foodbank at 802-477-4103.
About The Vermont Country Store
Founded in 1946, now in its third generation of family ownership, The Vermont Country Store is nationally famous as The Purveyors of The Practical and Hard to Find, serving customers nationwide through its catalogs, online, and at two historic retail stores in Weston and Rockingham, Vt.
For more information:
Ann Warrell (802) 362- 8457, Vermont Country Store
Christine Foster 802-477-4103, Vermont Foodbank