Hunger Free Vermont is the recipient of this year's anti-hunger advocacy leadership award.
The nonprofit focused on feeding the hungry received the award at a national conference in Washington, D.C., this week. But now they are back in Vermont and focused on their new goal of providing free lunch for all low-income kids in Vermont.
They are using the efforts of free breakfast as the baseline for success.
"In 2008 Vermont passed a bill that eliminated the reduced price category for breakfast. It increased participation by children by 85 percent," says Marissa Parisi from Hunger Free Vermont. "When participation goes up we leverage more federal dollars. More money comes to the sate to help provide nutrition. So it's a small price tag on the state level to get those kids eating on a regular basis."
Hunger Free Vermont estimates free lunch for low-income kids would cost the state $300,000 and will result in an additional $400,000 from the feds.
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