Where do your clients come from ?
Our six target towns are Eden, Elmore, Hyde Park, Morristown, Stowe and Wolcott. 76% of our families came from these towns in 2016, accounting for 85% of family visits. In 2016 we saw clients from twenty one other towns. We never send people away empty handed but we try to steer them to food shelves closer to where they live.
How often do families come in?
We ask that families visit no more often than once a month. In 2016, 58% of our families visited the pantry three times or less. Only 9.5% visited ten or more times during the year. Most of our families just need a little help.
Where do you get your food?
About one quarter of our food comes to us through donations, the rest is purchased. Our managers and volunteers spend time shopping for the best price. Most of the time we purchase from various retail outlets around town. We are most grateful to the managers and employees of all those stores for their help with our large orders. About 15% of our purchases are made through the Vermont Foodbank.
We started a new program in October 2013. The Lamoille Neighborhood Food Project is designed to encourage community members to become regular donors.
What is the difference between the Vermont Foodbank and Lamoille Community Food Share?
The Vermont Foodbank is essentially a warehouse organization serving all of Vermont. LCFS is one of about 270 “network partners” who pay a fee to access the Foodbank. We receive donated product from them and also have access to a shopping list from which we can purchase food. The Foodbank administers TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) which is a federal program which provides us with some food once per month.
Which is better- donating cash or food?
The short answer is both are much appreciated! Donations often include brands or products we don’t buy such as personal items, pet foods and name brands. Our clients enjoy food donations as they offer more variety. Monetary donations allow us to shop for the best price on the basics and to pay for milk and eggs.
What about Pet food?
Many of our clients own pets and sometimes struggle to feed them. While we do not use donated funds to purchase pet food we are happy to distribute any donated items. We often receive donations from Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services, Sequist Animal Hospital, and NCAL. We have several individuals who regularly donate pet food. We, and our clients, are grateful!