As of Wednesday, Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced a two-month extension to the farmers to families food box program. The program has been providing food to those in need for about two months now.
The Vermont National Guard in partnership with the Abbey Group, the Vermont Food Bank, and multiple state departments have been distributing food across the state. Lines have gotten smaller since first starting in April, but the need keeps growing.
“Now the lines are steady right, but that just shows that people still need the help,” said Cadet Jonathon Loughlin.
In April, the Vermont Food Bank and the Vermont National Guard began by giving out MRE’s to people facing hunger. Cadet Jonathan Loughlin has been helping since day one, he said it has turned into something bigger and better than he could have thought.
“The first day we were up in Swanton and the amount of people that came was unexpected. We actually had to call in three more trucks to come and bring food, said Loughlin. “We started off with just two because we didn’t know and once we had to call those other trucks we knew we were going to be out here for the long run.”
Since April, the program has grown to what is now known as the Farmers to Families Food Box program providing up to hundreds and even thousands of families with fresh produce. On Friday, families received boxes with things like milk, cheese, and chicken.
“Although people ya they are willing to eat MRE’s, but also the farmers need to get rid of their things so we might as well work with the state,” said Loughlin.
Anyone wishing to pick up food must sign up online. Registration can be found here.
Those on the receiving end, say they are grateful. Linda Sorrell was one of the many people who picked up food at the Shelburne Museum on Friday. Sorrell has been unemployed during these challenging times and she said it’s been tough to get all the food she needs.
“It will put a lot of food on our table. We really appreciate the help they are giving us,” said Sorrell.