Where do your clients come from ?
How often do families come in?
In 2019, 59% of our families visited the pantry three times or less. Only 9% 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. We want to give a special shout out to Mac's Market in Stowe and Shaw's in Stowe and Waterbury who have been particularly helpful during these difficult times.
We started a new program in October 2013. The is designed to encourage community members to become regular donors.
What is the difference between the Vermont Foodbank and Lamoille Community Food Share?
The 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. we have chosen to stop our participation in this program as they require client information which we cannot provide without client contact.
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. Even though our clients no longer get to choose all of their food, we hear back that they enjoy it when we put something different in their bags. Monetary donations allow us to shop for the best price on the basics and to pay for milk, eggs, butter, cheese and meat.
What about Pet food?
As mentioned above, starting in April of 2020, we are not asking clients for any information, so we do not know what towns they are from.
Again, as of April 2020, we are not asking clients for any information. In the past we asked clients to come no more often than once per month. We know there are clients who are coming weekly. As we are giving out "one size fits all" bags we realize that large families need to come more frequently.
We want to thank the Vermont Foodbank for their help during the pandemic. They have really stepped up, offering us things like boxes for us to use in distributing food. In the early stages of the pandemic, when local markets were overwhelmed, we were able to purchase food from the foodbank. We have continued to source much more of our food from them than we have done in the past, particularly fresh produce which one of our volunteers brings to us every week.
We have been receiving many donations of pet food from individuals, (NCAL), and (LVVS). We put dog and cat food out on our "take what you need" rack. Our clients are incredibly grateful for the help.