Program helps feed hungry Vermonters and help farmers

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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) The Farmers to Families Food Box Program supplies Vermonters in need with local food, things like chicken, dairy products and fresh produce.

The program is paid for by a federal grant.

The food was originally destined for restaurants. The program also gives farmers-- who usually supply those restaurants-- an income that otherwise may have been lost during the pandemic.

Many farmers say without the boxes, much of the food would be headed to the landfill.

And the collaboration of businesses has allowed some to bring back workers who had been laid off.

"It shows all of us coming together and I'm hoping this can continue through the summer and beyond. And farmers are ready to put the seeds in the ground to grow the food Vermonters need. We can do it," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

As of now, about 1.5 million boxes of food have been distributed around the country. Seven-thousand of those were given out in Vermont and 10,000 boxes have been filled with Vermont products.