March is National Nutrition Month and we’re publishing a series of blog posts that focus on nutrition within our networks. You can also learn about our programs here.

The Vermont Foodbank distributes more than 8 million pounds of food to 270 network partners across the state. This includes food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, and after-school programs. Each network partner is independent of the Vermont Foodbank, but has entered into a partnership with us to receive food, training and technical assistance, and funding assistance, among other benefits.

The 2014 Hunger in America study found that an estimated 153,000 people in Vermont turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. The study also examined the agencies, their needs and resources. Here we take a look at an excerpt pertaining to where and how food shelves obtain food, as well as the nutrition education they provide to clients.

Sources of Food

“At the agency level, a main priority is to identify potential sources of food to be distributed to clients. While food is obtained from the Vermont Foodbank, agencies may also obtain food from other sources, such as donations and their own food purchases (see table 3).

Hunger in America Sources of Food

“Programs were also asked on the Agency Survey to identify any changes made to food receipt rules—that is, limitations on how often clients can receive food, including the number of times a client or household can get food in a given period. Different programs may place service receipt restrictions for different reasons. For instance, in some cases, food programs may elect to limit a household’s receipt of food to once every 30 days.

“For this food bank, 33 percent of programs have some type of restriction.

“Of those programs with restrictions, the most common is “Monthly”, with 19 percent of programs reporting this rule.

Nutrition Education

“In addition to supplying clients with food, food banks and their partner agencies may offer aid with food-related benefits programs  pr other important nonfood services. For instance, some agencies may offer services related to nutrition education (see table 4).”

Hunger in America Nutrition Education

You can download the Hunger in America Executive Summary or the full report here.

You can also see a list of food shelves and meal sites affiliated with the Ver