An Older Adult Stays Safe at Home During the Pandemic

Because of the pandemic, so many people are facing hunger every single day. As need increased sharply this past year, we were able to support partners across the state providing food in ways that kept people safe and, in some cases, kept people home—thanks to the generosity of friends like you.

Community has always been at the heart of feeding people, but if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us all, it’s that none of us is an island. We depend on each other. This past year, we felt that truth more than ever as Vermont Foodbank front line workers and out statewide network of food shelves, meal sites, and community partners adapted everything we do so that people in Vermont had access to nourishing food no matter what they are going through.

By working together, older adults and neighbors with vulnerable immune systems were able to receive home deliveries of food. Here is one such story, as told by Feeding Chittenden, a partner who provides home deliveries:

Debbie has moved around a lot in her life. She spent several years homeless in Burlington, sleeping in various shelters and communal living situations. Even when she was homeless herself, Debbie was there for others. She’d listen to people’s problems, and she’d share what little money she had to buy food for others. Debbie especially loves to cook for people, everything from cakes to steak to shepherd’s pie. She explains, “I love to help people. That’s what God put me on this earth for. Not to hurt people. You have to give, give, give, whether they reciprocate or not. It doesn’t matter. You still have to help people, and I’ve done it all my life.”

But now, Debbie can’t get around the way she used to. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and she also lost some mobility due to a car crash and blindness in her right eye. With the pandemic and Debbie’s health conditions, leaving her apartment is riskier than ever.

Debbie says that she wants more than anything to be “independent.” Thanks to community members like you, and Feeding Chittenden’s home deliveries, Debbie can still receive fresh groceries and cook for herself in her own apartment.

Support neighbors during this difficult time, if you can. Give help.

Read More Stories

  • Tara is a holistic nutrition consultant and a trained chef from Montpelier, who also offers postpartum support to mothers in Vermont. She’s a single mom, has her own business, and volunteers in her community serving food to unhoused neighbors. And she has faced food insecurity over the last 20 years. She has shared her experience with us to help build awareness of food insecurity.

  • After 36 years working as a counselor at a community college, Peter retired to Vermont and started volunteering at the Foodbank. More than nine years and 1,000 shifts later, Peter shares why he keeps showing up.

  • Matthew works at Foodworks food shelf, one of the 353 community organizations that partners with Vermont Foodbank working towards a food-secure vermont.