Photo of a man cooking in the kitchen.

“I love watching old movies, helping other people (within my capacity), and telling my story, so hopefully people will realize there is always, always hope!” says Michael.

Michael works as a cashier at a pharmacy in southern Vermont and recently applied for 3SquaresVT with assistance from the Vermont Foodbank, provided with your support. 3SquaresVT (sometimes called SNAP or food stamps) is a program that supplies money to purchase groceries each month.

“I make $13 an hour. That’s $10 estimated hourly net,” explains Michael. With inflation at a 40-year high, and the cost of living outpacing worker wages, grocery costs have become unmanageable for many neighbors across Vermont. Michael says the 3SquaresVT benefits he now receives are equal to about 6 ¼ hours worked on the sales floor.

“It’s affected me greatly in many ways…I’m very grateful!” shares Michael, “And yes, the foods I purchase are very much me!”

This holiday season, Michael plans to celebrate with a festive meal and his 10 ½-year-old black cat, Kathy-Ellen, “who brings me nothing but good luck.”

“I have enjoyed working to the last minute and then go home to watch movies such as It’s A Wonderful Life and the claymation cartoons of Rankin/Bass and Charles Schultz, while having a scaled-down holiday dinner of the traditional turkey,” says Michael.

It takes all of us — the Foodbank, the state and federal government, and community members like you and Michael — supporting one another as we can, to make sure everyone in Vermont has nourishing food this holiday season and every day of the year.

Michael describes the assistance he received from the Foodbank as “amazing” and encourages neighbors to apply for 3SquaresVT. “Do it!!” he says, “You have nothing to lose…tax dollars pay for this..there are people out there fighting and sacrificing (sometimes with their lives) for your rights! For happiness, peace, etc. Food goes hand in hand with this!”

* Photo substituted to protect privacy.

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

  • Elysia lives in St. Johnsbury and is a community consultant for Vermont Foodbank. She brings her expertise to help improve services and increase access to food for folks in her community.

  • This month, we're celebrating you and those who've offered the Gift of Support and in so doing have joined us on the journey of creating a food-secure Vermont by sharing part of a recent interview with friend and neighbor Sara.