One in five Vermont children are living in homes without adequate food. Many Vermonters find this number surprising. To increase awareness and develop sustainable solutions, Hunger Free Vermont has evolved into Vermont's principal anti-hunger authority and leading nutrition policy advocate. We were the primary force behind Act 22, a law that substantially increased access to school meal programs such that 98% of Vermont schools now provide school lunch. Hunger Free Vermont also worked to develop and pass H.333 in 2008, making Vermont the 4th state in the U.S. to provide free school breakfast to all low-income students.
These efforts were further amplified in 2013 with the development and passage of H.60 and S.26. Beginning in school year 2013-14, all Vermont students who qualify for reduced-price school meals will receive free lunch, in addition to the free breakfast to which they have had access since 2008. This makes Vermont the first state in the country to eliminate the reduced price school meal category for families.
Each year, we provide policy makers at the state and national level and partner organizations with information on the state of hunger in Vermont and recommendations for strengthening the nutrition assistance programs that help prevent hunger.
Childhood Hunger in Vermont: The Hidden Impacts on Health, Development & Wellbeing
Launched in February 2012, this on-line course gives Vermont health professionals the tools and information they need to both identify hunger and connect patients with nutrition resources.
Educating First Responders:
Regional Resource Flyers: Learn about the food and nutrition programs available for families in your region of Vermont:
Here are a few examples of our regular education and advocacy efforts:
- Hunger Awareness Day: In coordination with area partners, Hunger Free Vermont organizes and implements an annual
Hunger Awareness Day and legislative trainings at the state capitol. During this event, we encourage legislators to improve programs that feed vulnerable Vermonters, especially children and elders.
- Electronic Updates: We send a monthly electronic newsletter with information on trainings, legislative issues, hunger, and nutrition programs to approximately 1,500 Vermonters, including service providers, advocates, members of the faith community, educators, and health professionals. To view samples or to sign up for free E-Updates now, please visit our Publications page.
- Interagency Council on Hunger: Our Program Director, Dorigen Keeney, is a member of the Council, which is made up on members of state government, non-profits, and community members and is working statewide to reduce hunger in Vermont.
- Regional Hunger Councils: In partnership with Northfield Savings Bank, Hunger Free Vermont has developed the innovative model of regional hunger councils made up of area leaders and service providers who meet regularly to learn about local hunger and existing resources, identify opportunities for improvement, and strategize about local solutions. Since 2006, Hunger Free Vermont has convened Councils in Washington and Chittenden Counties, which have successfully increased the meals available in school and child care settings and meals at home for vulnerable populations. In 2010 and 2011, Hunger Free Vermont launched two more Hunger Councils in Windham County and the Lamoille Valley.
Community Education & Tabling Requests
Hunger Free Vermont makes every attempt to fulfill requests for community education and tabling if we have staff capacity and enough advanced notice. If we are unable to meet your request, we will work closely with you to make sure you are connected with other resources.
Educational Presentations and Workshops
Staff from Hunger Free Vermont may be available for educational presentations and workshops on hunger. If you are interested in Hunger Free Vermont presenting to your group, please submit a Community Education Request Form at least 2 weeks prior to when you would like the presentation.
Would you like Hunger Free Vermont to table at your next event? If so, please complete a Tabling Request Form to see if staff are available to attend. If we are unable to staff a table at your event, we may still be able to provide materials and resources to be displayed. Please submit all requests at least 2 weeks prior to the date of your event.
For more information on Hunger Free Vermont's Education and Advocacy work please contact our Program Director, Dorigen Keeney, MS, RD at