Hunger in AmericaHunger in America 2014, a study by the Vermont Foodbank and Feeding America, shows that 1 in 4 people, or an estimated 153,000 people, in Vermont turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families.

They also turn to other food assistance programs, including WIC, free school lunches and 3SquaresVT.

We’ve taken an excerpt, below, from the study.You can also download the Hunger in America Executive Summary or the full report here.

“Many client households using the services of Vermont Foodbank also use government assistance to supplement their household food budget. Prominent among these services is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). SNAP provides monthly benefit allotments (through a debit card) to spend on food. Eligibility and benefit rules vary across the states, and many clients need help applying for benefits.

“SNAP benefits are intended to supplement a household’s groceries each month; typically, benefits do not last recipients the entire month. The Client Survey displayed an image of the state’s SNAP debit card when asking about client households’ participation in the program.

  • 66 percent of client households report participation in SNAP.
  • Across all households reporting current receipt of SNAP, 21 percent report that SNAP benefits last only one week or less; 44 percent report that benefits last two weeks; 16 percent reported that benefits last for three weeks; and 19 percent report that benefits usually last four weeks or more.

“Although we know from income data presented in table 9 that many clients live below the poverty level, not all clients participate in SNAP. There may be many reasons some clients of Vermont Foodbank do not receive SNAP benefits. They may not have applied be