Vermont Foodbank: 2011-2015 Out of the Box
Click to download the full strategic plan.
Hunger has challenged societies since prehistory. Some will say that means hunger will always be with us. The Vermont Foodbank disagrees. We believe that these times provide an unprecedented opportunity to end hunger in this state, and across the country. There is plenty of food. There is plenty of money. There are programs and talented, dedicated people to run them. What must change are our priorities. All that is missing is the political will to end hunger.
The Vermont Foodbank’s challenge is to feed Vermont’s hungry, regardless of the cause of hunger, so that all have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. We do this by gathering millions of pounds of food and sharing it with our neighbors in need through partnerships with almost 300 organizations throughout Vermont.
Hunger hurts us all because it keeps 1 in 7 of our neighbors from learning, working and contributing to the community to their full potential. Food is often the most flexible budget item and the first that gets cut for struggling families. Social programs that provide a safety net are under pressure for cuts. Our children and seniors suffer the most, having little power to make changes in their own lives and circumstances.
We also face operational challenges. The “food banking industry” is changing in significant ways. There is a shift in sources of donated food from trailer loads of “salvage” (dry goods from the grocery industry, much of which now is sold to a secondary food market) to more diverse sources like farms, individual stores, and small processors. Food from these new donors is more likely to be fresh produce, frozen meat and vegetables and other perishable items that are more difficult to handle. The Vermont Foodbank and our network partners, along with the entire food bank industry, are changing to conform to our new realities.
This strategic plan responds to those challenges. Looking to 2015, the Vermont Foodbank will be driving toward the four outcomes in order to achieve our mission.
–John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO