The Vermont Food Bank is set to receive $500,000 in grant money from the US Department of Agriculture to upgrade its Barre facility with new infrastructure, increased broadband capabilities and other upgrades.
The grant will go toward a new forklift, pickup truck, expanded storage racking and teleconferencing equipment.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that one in three Vermonters are facing food insecurity as a result of the coronavirus, and Nicole Whalen, director of communications for the food bank, says the upgrades will help their workers meet the growing demand for food in Vermont.
“During a typical year we distribute about 11 or 12 million pounds of food, and just between March and the end of July this year, we’ve distributed 10 million,” she said. “So we’ve done almost an entire year’s worth of distribution in just a matter of the last several months.”