Lamoille Community

Food Share

Frequently Asked Questions

How many people do you serve in a year?

In 2019 we served 1202 families. That represents 3898 people- 1526 children, 2161 adults (18-64) plus 211 seniors. We served an average of 389 families (1283 people) per month.

We started our drive through operations in April of 2020. That month we gave out 485 bags. For the twelve months from April 2020-March 2021 we averaged 648 families per month.

For Thanksgiving 2021 we gave out 802 turkeys/fixings vs 508 in 2019.

Since May of 2020 we have not been collecting any information on our clients. Starting in May 2022 we are asking clients for their name, how many in the family and what town they live in. Starting June 2022 we will be asking clients to come no more often than once per week. (Before 2020 clients were asked to come no more often than once per month). We allow people to pick up for several families at a time.

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 Green Bag 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. 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, North Country Animal League (NCAL), Justice for Dogs  and Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services (LVVS). We put dog and cat food out on our "take what you need" rack. Our clients are incredibly grateful for the help.