Feeding Chittenden continues with pilot delivery service

Some Vermont families don’t have to head to the food shelf to pick up meals, they can just open their front door.
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 8:14 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Some Vermont families don’t have to head to the food shelf to pick up meals, instead, they can just open their front doors.

One-third of Vermonters are still struggling with food insecurity and to tackle that problem, food shelves say they need to continue to be creative. One of those ways is through food delivery, and a pilot program continues to work.

A few times a week, loads of food go out to the community through a pilot program at Feeding Chittenden.

“This is great, we just want to add another point of access to food,” said Jenny Carter, who’s in charge of deliveries with Feeding Chittenden.

Feeding Chittenden teamed up with the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity to offer food to families of Head Start program students. That’s kids ages 3-5 that are enrolled in a program for early education, nutrition and mental health.

This adds another layer in fighting food insecurity at the source.

“Which connects people who aren’t able to access the food shelf during regular hours to get food delivered to their door or to a more convenient location,” said Carter.

About 30 families are participating in the pilot. They get to order online, choosing what they want from a variety of options.

Carter says for families with cultural or dietary restrictions, this program is big.

“More variety and more autonomy of choice,” said Carter.

It’s limited and rollout is still slow, which is intentional. But as they expand, Carter says getting out in the community is also breaking barriers for some.

“So hopefully this is a step in fighting the stigma around food insecurity,” said Carter.

And Carter says getting out and meeting people where they are has other benefits, too.

“Really nice and a great way to feel connected to my community and hopefully the clients that we serve feel connected to their community and us, as well,” said Carter.

They don’t have a timeline on the pilot, but continued expansion of this rollout is their goal.

Feeding Chittenden is also always looking for volunteers to help food delivery or otherwise.

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