Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about hunger in Vermont? Check out facts, figures, and statistics in the Hunger in America survey.

Hunger In America Survey

As a member of Feeding America, our mission is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry. Thousands of our neighbors struggle to meet their food needs. Each year the Vermont Foodbank and our network of partners throughout the state serve as many as 153,000 Vermonters in need of emergency food assistance

Food insecurity is when a family or an individual is unable to obtain enough safe and nutritious food from socially acceptable sources in order to lead an active and healthy life.
The Vermont Foodbank secures large quantities of food from grocery stores, food manufacturers, farms, businesses, restaurants, individuals, and Feeding America, the national network of food banks. After the product is examined and sorted, it is distributed statewide to our network partners. Food banks do not give food directly to individuals. The Vermont Foodbank is the only food bank in the state.

A food shelf is a local non-profit that provides food directly to individuals in need. A food shelf may obtain food from the Vermont Foodbank, from individual donors, and through wholesale and/or retail purchase. Visit our Agency Map to see the Vermont Foodbank network partners in your community.

There are hundreds of thousands of our Vermont neighbors – including children, seniors and working families – who are unable to put enough food on the table.  Visits to their local food shelves can help with this shortfall, and that’s where the Foodbank comes in.  We acquire and distribute food to 225 network partners around the state – food shelves, pantries, senior meal programs and other community meal sites – enabling 153,000 Vermonters to eat.
In 2014, the Foodbank provided food to as many as 153,000 Vermonters.

We currently have 215 network partners who receive food from the Foodbank. Visit our Agency Map to find a network partner in your community.

An agency must be a member of the Vermont Foodbank network to acquire food from us. Once a member, or network partner, as we call them, the agency can access free and cooperatively purchased food to distribute in their communities. Network partners can pick up their order at one of the Foodbank’s warehouses in Barre, Brattleboro or Rutland  or have it delivered to them on a regular schedule. To learn how to become a network partner, click here.
The Foodbank opened its doors in 1986.
The Foodbank headquarters is located in the Wilson Industrial Park at 33 Parker Road in Barre.
The Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks. Feeding America is comprised of 200+ food banks across the United States and in Puerto Rico, and is the largest charitable hunger organization in the country.
The Foodbank does not distribute food directly to individuals, but to our Network Partners. If you know someone in need, they should first visit their local food shelf or meal site.

Donations are very important to the ongoing success of the Foodbank. A $30 gift helps the Foodbank to provide 50 meals to a neighbor in need. Please consider making a gift today.

In Abenaki legend, corn is a gift from the gods in the form of a black bird. The story goes this way:

On a cold night in the forest, Mon-do-min, an old, lame hunter, lay dying from hunger. He prayed to the gods of the southern sky to send him food. Suddenly a small, black bird appeared. The man caught the bird, prepared a fire, and began to roast his meal.

He was about to eat the bird when he heard someone crying. He followed the sound and found an injured woman and her child. He brought them back to his camp and gave them the bird to eat, saying, “The Great Spirit has spoken. You must live. I must die. But remember me when you see others alone and hungry. Share with them.”

In the early spring, the old man’s tribe found his grave covered with green plants. The Great Spirit told them that the plants would ripen into full ears of a grain that would feed everyone.

The black bird symbolizes the vessel for gathering, the yellow kernel, the food we share, and Mon-do-min, the act of nurturing others.