Feeding Chittenden sees 30% increase in demand

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) As the temperatures start to drop, a local food shelf says their need for donations goes up. Feeding Chittenden says they've seen a 30 percent increase in the number of people reaching out for services this past year.

The organization, formerly known as the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, says they see 200-300 people per day. Their clients come for a variety of reasons -- to get a warm meal, grocery shop or take part in a culinary class.

Anna McMahon with Feeding Chittenden says recent threats from the federal government to cut services like 3Squares Vermont have made people uneasy.

"I think people are worried. They are not sure how they are going to afford to pay for child care, housing and other expenses. They need programs like Feeding Chittenden to offset that cost," said McMahon.

She says the high cost of living in Vermont has increased the use of their services.

She says with all those factors, seniors are the most vulnerable population. And when the weather gets cold in the winter months, utilities go up, affecting their bottom line.

While they say they need more help from you to take care of them, it's not all bad. They are celebrating the Rally For Change program. Over the last several years, Feeding Chittenden has partnered with City Market. Shoppers donate change at the checkout and 50 percent goes straight to Feeding Chittenden and other programs. Recently the program hit $1 million in donations and their building got half of that.

"Through these donations, people donating just a few more cents and rounding up their purchase. They are supporting programs like the good food truck that are helping people in communities that might be going without a meal," said McMahon.

"Each time you donate 5 cents at the register, 2.5 cents comes to us and it's a huge form of support we get from the community," said Emmet Moseley, the Good Food Truck manager.

Their next event will be the Trotting of the Turkey on Church Street on Nov. 2.