I have prepared this Vision 2015 Investor’s Report on the recent performance of the Vermont Foodbank that has helped feed 153,000 Vermonters, including nearly 40,000 children, who struggle with hunger every day.
Collection and Distribution of Food
In 2014, we distributed 9 million pounds of nourishing food, exceeding our goal by nearly 10%. This bounty of nourishment was prepared and served or distributed by 270 food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers, youth programs and other agencies. We also launched a direct distribution program to reach people who live in senior and subsidized housing.
VISION 2015: We aim to collect and distribute 10 million pounds of wholesome and nourishing food throughout the state, an 11% increase over this year, make 8 monthly direct distributions to housing sites, and engage in the important and innovative programs described below, all of which are made possible with your continued investment.
The BackPack Program alleviates hunger every weekend during the school year by sending food home with children who depend on free school meals during the week. Working with 20 schools in high-need communities, we served the weekend needs of 850 children this past school year.
VISION 2015: We’re expanding the BackPack Program to 24 schools for the 2014-15 school year. We’ll fill the back packs of more than 1,000 children every Friday with highly nutritional, easy-to-eat food items to ensure they’re well-nourished every weekend.
School Food Pantry-to-Go
Local schools are great places to engage with families at risk of hunger who might not come to traditional meal sites for help. With your help, we launched our pilot School Food Pantry-to-Go program with one school this year, reaching 680 families with over 200,000 pounds of food.
VISION 2015: We have recruited 2 more schools for 2015 and aim to distribute fresh produce and other foods to as many as 2,000 students and their families this school year, creating a more accessible and dependable source of food assistance.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation, and children relying on free or reduced-cost school breakfast and lunch need a nutritional safety net when school cafeterias shut down for the summer. SFSP provides wholesome breakfasts and lunches to children in low-income communities five days per week during the summer.
VISION 2015: With your support of the Vermont Foodbank, you will empower us to provide free breakfast and lunch in a summer day camp environment at two sites for five weeks next summer to children living in Vermont’s most rural, high-need region, the Northeast Kingdom.
Community Kitchen Academy (CKA)
This training program, now operating in Burlington and Barre, helps under-employed and unemployed Vermonters acquire culinary skills, find jobs and earn college credits. Launched in partnership with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington in 2009, CKA boasts an 87% success rate with 142 graduates to date.
VISION 2015: All meals are prepared by the students—240,845 meals to date—and are distributed daily to families struggling with hunger! CKA produced more than 40 new graduates over the past 12 months.
This past year, we secured and distributed 320,000 pounds of fresh, locally sourced produce from nearly 100 farms and distributed it throughout Vermont.
VISION 2015: Next year, we aim to collect and distribute 425,000 pounds of freshly grown Vermont produce and your renewed investment will help sustain and grow this valuable program that makes healthy Vermont food accessible to Vermonters in need.
Vermont Foodbank in Rutland
In November, the Vermont Foodbank is opening its doors at a facility in Rutland City. Now, network partners in Rutland and Addison counties can access food several times a week instead of once or twice a month!
VISION 2015: Your gift to the Vermont Foodbank will enable us to collect and distribute 500,000 pounds of food next year and more than 1.2 million pounds over the next 2 years at this site alone!
Through VT Fresh, the Foodbank offered cooking demonstrations and taste tests at eleven network partner food shelves, encouraging participants to try something new and leave with the produce from the recipe.
VISION 2015: In 2015, we will continue to help our neighbors make healthier food choices, by boosting participation in VT Fresh through taste tests and demos in fifteen food shelves, distributing educational materials and tips to help families get the most nutrition value from meals prepared at home.
Advocacy to Solve Hunger
We continue to bring light to the issue of hunger through our Annual Hunger Action Conference held each May and our strong relationship with legislators whose decisions and policy priorities impact our neighbors in need.
As one of our key Investors, you can be proud of the important role that you play toward ending hunger in Vermont. It is our core belief that every woman, man and child living in our midst has a right to be free from hunger and your renewed support will help us ensure that all Vermonters have ample, wholesome, and nourishing food on their tables, each and every day!
Thank you again for your past support.
Vermont Foodbank CEO