Hunger is a problem in Vermont.
Vermonters live in food insecure households, meaning they don't have regular access to nutritious food (10%)
Lack of affordable housing, low wages, high unemployment, a decrease in the number of local, affordable grocery stores, and lack of public transportation all contribute to hunger and food insecurity in Vermont.
Vermont children under the age of 18 live in food insecure households (14%)
Children living in food insecure homes are at greater risk for poor health, nutritional
deficiencies and obesity/overweight, as well as developmental delays, poor academic
achievement, depression, and increased aggressive or hyperactive behavior.
Vermont adults over 60 live in food insecure households (7%)
Senior Vermonters living in food insecure homes are more likely to be diabetic, suffer from depression and have limited daily activities, and are far less likely to be considered in excellent or good health.
Vermont residents have incomes QUALIFYING them for federal nutrition assistance programs like 3SquaresVT (27%)
The number of our state’s residents who live on the razor’s edge of vulnerability to hunger is much higher than revealed by food insecurity statistics. This number, which includes 36,423 children, illustrates that Vermonters receive low wages and struggle to make ends meet.
The Monthly shortfall for a family of four with two working adults, each making minimum wage
This black hole is even deeper for single parents, mostly women, who must try to provide all the things their children need on their own. Add older adults to this picture, still trying to live independently but no longer able to work and often in fragile health requiring expensive care, with only a monthly Social Security check to live on.
Nutrition programs are feeding Vermonters.
Vermont Children are from households with incomes qualifying them for free or reduced-priced school breakfast or lunch
On an average day in Vermont’s schools, about 75% of students who qualify for free meals, and 50% of all students, eat school lunch.
Only about 45% of students who qualify for free meals, and 25% of all students, eat school breakfast.
8,000 kids participate in summer meal programs, receiving crucial nutrition for their healthy and development. The remaining 31,000 students who rely on school meals during the school year may not get enough healthy food during the summer, falling behind their peers academically.
7,000 kids participate in afterschool meal programs, receiving activities and nutrition during the at-risk times for youth between 3PM-6PM. The remaining 32,000 students who rely on school meals during the school day may not get enough healthy food to power them through to focus on their homework.
Vermont children 0-6 are Spend significant time in childcare placements while their parents work (70%)
- The first several years of a child's life are the most crucial for healthy brain development and nutrition is a significant factor in healthy child development.
- 9% of childcare providers offer meal programs through the federal nutrition program. Nearly half of the rest of the providers offer meal programs on their own and Hunger Free Vermont offers trainings to ensure those programs meet high nutritional standards.
VermontERS RECEIVE 3SQUARESVT Benefits to help put healthy food on the table
- 13,911 Vermonters over 60 receive 3SquaresVT benefits - about 30% of those eligible in this age group.
- 26,439 children are in households receiving 3SquaresVT benefits.
* Monthly participation number for January 2017