Since May of last year, tens of thousands of food boxes made their way into the homes of Vermonters, who needed a boost during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. The USDA funded program will end in 2 weeks, but what won’t end is food insecurity around the state.
“A lot of people suffered a pretty big economic shock,” said Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles. “A lot of those folks, this is the first time that they’ve really had to access things like food assistance.”
Sayles estimates the Farm to Families program has served one third of all Vermonters. That’s about 200,000 people. He says Full Plates Vt is just a new way to continue that work.
Inside the boxes, there will be produce, frozen protein, and shelf-stable items.
“This is TEFAP food that has been available in food shelves and meal sites around the state,” Sayles said. “This is just a new way. It works for them to be able to drive to a distribution site to pick up food.”
Sayles says a big difference with the new program is an income eligibility requirement. Families must make 300 percent of the current poverty level in order to qualify for the new boxes. There will be 19 drop off sites around the Green Mountain State.
Full Plate Vt will run from June 3rd through the end of September. People can start signing up on Monday on the Vt Foodbank’s webpage or by calling 1-833-670-2254