Photo of Elysia at her local food shelf. Elysia is improving food access in her community through her consultant work with the Vermont Foodbank.

This month, we’re celebrating the members of our community who have joined us on the journey of creating a food-secure Vermont by sharing part of a recent interview with friend and neighbor Elysia. Elysia lives in St. Johnsbury and is a community consultant for Vermont Foodbank. She brings her expertise and is improving food access in her community and helping to strengthen services in the area. Here’s what she has to say:

Vermont Foodbank: What inspires you to work together with the Vermont Foodbank? Why have you chosen to collaborate in this way?

Elysia: Not only do I have lived experience with food insecurities, I feel that every person should have access to nutritious food without any hassle. It is a basic survival necessity for humans and should not have to be earned…. With a family of seven, soon to be eight, I want to be able to offer my family food that is going to nourish them and I feel that most parents share that same desire.

Vermont Foodbank: What are you grateful for in your community (however you define your community)?

Elysia: In our community, we have multiple locations for food access which can assist in providing an ample amount to those in need. Thankfully, most locations are hassle-free or minimally invasive. There are also things in the works to get a mobile unit up and running to assist rural communities nearby.

Vermont Foodbank: Gratitude is a big word—what significance does gratitude hold for you, or what would you like to share about gratitude?

Elysia: Gratitude to me is something that I feel very deeply although I do not always know how to express. I enjoy showing my gratitude rather than speaking of it, normally by returning a favor within my own abilities. I believe that gratitude and appreciation coincide with each other and it tends to be obvious with those that truly feel it….

  • 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.

  • Online ordering with SNAP benefits can make it easier for people to purchase nourishing food from wherever they may be.