Two women standing at a counter cooking.

“The struggle is REAL to make ends meet in retirement in Vermont!” says Katherine. “I am a caregiver to my 13-year-old granddaughter and a little dog, HRH Xing Xing, that I adopted in China in 2013.” Katherine worked for IBM for many years, and then as a teacher in an international school overseas. She is now retired and lives in South Burlington.

“Staying healthy and safe from the increasing crime in our area is our greatest concern. Also, being able to meet all expenses each month to stay in our home,” shares Katherine.

So, Katherine got in touch with the Vermont Foodbank for assistance applying for 3SquaresVT, a service that you help support. 3SquaresVT (also called SNAP and formerly “food stamps”) is a program that provides money to purchase groceries each month.

“Receiving 3SquaresVT has impacted the quality of our lives tremendously,” Katherine explains. “We are able to buy enough fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, and meats that we enjoy.”

Being able to buy the foods you love, when you want, is nourishment that supports mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional health. It means people can enjoy their food and the experience around it. “We always celebrate Chinese New Year,” says Katherine. “Our favorite dishes are dim-sum, hong xiao rou, jiao-zi, and Mongolian beef noodle soup.”

Everyone should not only have access to enough food but to food that is personal and meaningful. 3SquaresVT allows for individual food preference and choice, and everyone who is eligible is approved. There is no cap on the number of people who can receive benefits, which means that by receiving benefits, nobody is taking resources away from anyone else. People choose to access 3SquaresVT for many reasons — and the Foodbank is here to help.

“Our family suffered greatly when we suddenly had to return home from overseas,” says Katherine. “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it.”

* 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.