More Vermont families seek help at food banks

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(Host) According to a new report, demand for the services at Vermont’s food shelves and community kitchens has risen 40% in the last two years. The report was released by the state Office of Economic Opportunity.

Cathy Voyer, who is director of the office, says the number of people who are seeking food assistance is growing because the state’s economy continues to slump:

(Voyer) “Families are finding it more and more difficult to feed children, to keep a roof over their heads, and to pay their continued daily living expenses. The numbers we have to share with you today are astronomical for the size of our state. Vermont’s local food shelves and community kitchens are clearly feeding well over 100,000 individuals.”

(Host) Deborah Flateman, who’s the director of the Vermont FoodBank, says many working families are now coming to food shelves:

(Flateman) “The poverty statistic just doesn’t fully illustrate the reality of this condition. And what we’ve been seeing is that the face of hunger in Vermont is changing dramatically. Over the last two years, there are a lot of working people who are looking for help.”

(Host) Representative Robert Dostis (D-Waterbury), who is also the director of the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, says he’s hopeful that the Legislature will support a bill that will require all schools to offer subsidized breakfast and lunch programs in the future. Dostis says these school programs are needed because they often offer children their most nutritious meals of the day.

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