November 1, 2017- I was recently interviewed by Bob Kinzel of Vermont Public Radio about the reality at food pantries in Vermont and the disconnect between a 2.9% unemployment rate, declining food stamp caseloads and increased use at food pantries and meal sites across the state. You can listen to the full interview here.
This disconnect exists because while more people are employed and incomes for some are rising, many Vermont families still can’t make ends meet week-to-week. Historical data backs this up. The U.S. Census Bureau tracks the “individual weekly shortfall.” In 2002, people on average had about $13.00 less than they needed per week to meet basic needs. Today it is $17.35 and has been rising steadily since 2011, despite the fact that the food insecurity rate has been slowly decreasing (see Figure 01).