Food distribution events could be drawing to a close

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) The National Guard food distribution events that have drawn long lines could be ending this week.

The Guard and Vermont Foodbank have been helping hand out food during the pandemic to address food insecurity among Vermonters. THe Foodbank says they have confirmed distributions planned each day through Friday, but nothing after that. However, officials say they are working with the state to try to extend the Farmers to Families food boxes beyond this week and that they need the state's resources to reach the most Vermonters.

Vt. AHS Secretary Mike Smith on Monday said the distribution events aren't sustainable and that his agency is working on trying to get people connected to existing support programs.

"We've seen caseloads go up in this program, but not as high as I had hoped. And we hope to continue to reach out to these families that are in these food lines to make sure that they understand not only EBT but 3Squares and other programs that we have in order to meet their needs," Smith said.

Anti-hunger organizations are now lobbying lawmakers to put more money towards addressing hunger in the state, saying demand for their services has gone up. They're asking for $18 million to address increased demand for food support programs and $20 million more for 3Squares benefits.