Since 1986, the Vermont Foodbank has provided a statewide network of food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs with food and resources to ensure no one in Vermont goes hungry.
In Rutland City alone, the poverty rate is 16%, 5% higher than Vermont as a whole. One in five Rutland County children are food insecure. And while the Rutland region is served by the strong work of 30 Foodbank network partner food shelves and meal sites, high demand for charitable food can leave these agencies with empty shelves.
Sadly, the need continues to rise, and to meet the need the Foodbank and our network must do more. That is why the Vermont Foodbank has been working with the Rutland community to find the right space to establish a local distribution center that will provide our partners better access to fresh produce and other provisions to better serve our hungry neighbors.
On Monday, December 15th, the Vermont Foodbank held its first event at its new Park Street location in Rutland. Pack to Give Back brought together nearly 40 business leaders, school children, elected officials, and concerned citizens to pack holiday food boxes for 500 Rutland area residents.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be expanding into Rutland,” said John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank. “The need in Rutland is great and the Foodbank is here to learn and work with our partners and the community to help where we can.”
“Vermont Country Store has been a longtime supporter of the Foodbank and we are excited to work more closely with the organization as they expand services within the Rutland community,” said Anne Warrell, Community Relations and Communications Manager at Vermont Country Store.
Boxes were filled with holiday meal staples, including sweet potatoes courtesy of RAFFL—the Rutland Area Food and Farm Link.
“RAFFL is very happy to participate in the Pack to Give Back event,” said Tara Kelly, Executive Director of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link. “We see this as a perfect opportunity to distribute the 2,000 pounds of sweet potatoes that Laughing Child Farm in Pawlet donated to our Glean Team program. We are happy to support this special effort to get high quality foods to people in need this season.”
Thanks to the work of eight network partners in the region, boxes were distributed to area families in need.
The Foodbank is committed to providing nutritious and fresh foods to our neighbors in need, and to supporting the work of solving hunger. Our work would not be possible without your support. Please consider making a gift to the Vermont Foodbank today.