State & Federal Advocacy
We believe in justice and advocate for systems that create economic self-sufficiency as a key to life-long food security. We protect federal nutrition programs and tackle infrastructure barriers at the local, state, regional, and federal level.
We are Vermont's principal anti-hunger authority and leading nutrition policy advocate.
We are raising awareness with community members, politicians, and key decision makers about hunger in Vermont and how we can create systemic change to ensure all Vermonters have access to food. Each year we provide data and stories about hunger in Vermont to state and federal officials so they have the information they need to make strong policy decisions to end hunger. We advocate at the state and federal levels to help Vermonters in need access nutrition programs and to build systems that help people move out of poverty.
Child Nutrition Policy Initiatives:
We have led state efforts to increase access to school breakfast and lunch through policy change for over a decade.
- 2003: 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.
- 2008: Worked to develop and pass legislation that eliminated the reduced price category for school breakfast, making Vermont the 4th state in the U.S. to provide free school breakfast to all low-income students.
- 2013: Advocated to pass the same legislation for lunch as we did for breakfast in 2008, resulting in Vermont becoming the first state in the nation to offer both free school breakfast and lunch to all low-income students.
- 2016: Collaborated with many of our partners, including the Farm to School Network, to help the Farm to School Grant Program receive additional state funding to launch a grant program to help schools offer Universal School Meals, so that all students can eat nutritious school meals, regardless of their family’s income. At the same time, we lead the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Coalition, a group of Vermont organizations collectively providing information to our lawmakers in DC about how to protect and improve programs that feed kids, like school meals and meals in childcare settings, as Congress reauthorizes them for another five years.
Adult Nutrition Policy Initiatives:
Tens of thousands of Vermonters rely on 3SquaresVT every month to help them afford groceries to feed their families. We work to ensure that all Vermonters who are eligible have access to a strong program.
- 2009: Worked with the state to increase the income limit for the vital 3SquaresVT program and advocated for participants while the State developed an online application and call center.
- 2014: When Congress reauthorized the Farm Bill, we led the Farm Bill Nutrition Title Coalition and, together with our partner organizations, fought to protect 3SquaresVT from drastic cuts.
- 2016: The program currently faces ongoing barriers to improvement due to an antiquated computer system. We are encouraging the State Legislature to fund much needed IT improvements at the Agency of Human Services which will help more Vermonters find out which safety net programs they might qualify for and easily apply, resulting in more connected and efficient programs.
- 2018: Supported H.271, a bill that guarantees transparency when changes are being made to the 3SquaresVT program that could impact food security and allows for time for public comment. Read more details here.