For Immediate Release
Michael Briggs (202) 228-6492
Hunger in Vermont and America
BURLINGTON, VT - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that "unconscionable" cuts in a federal emergency hunger program have resulted in a 50 percent reduction in food supplies from that program for the Vermont Foodbank.
The foodbank runs programs through a network of 280 food shelves, community centers, churches, schools and senior centers.
The foodbank has experienced shortages because of deep cuts in discretionary allotments by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Food Assistance Program which helps working families, the elderly, children and the homeless.
"At a time when many Vermonters are struggling to make ends meet, many low-income households - including working families, the elderly and children - rely on emergency food shelves for short-term hunger relief," Sanders said at a news conference at the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf.
"It is simply unacceptable that in this day and age, Vermont children go to bed hungry. And, it is unconscionable that the federal government would cut back on food and nutrition assistance to states as our nation struggles to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression," he added.
Sanders was joined at the news conference by John Sayles, the Vermont Foodbank CEO, and Rob Meehan, the executive director of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.
The senator warned that more cuts may be on the way because the House has refused to consider the Senate-passed farm bill which funds many other federal food assistance programs such as food stamps, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
Nationwide, hunger is at an all-time high in the United States. Last year, almost 45 million people - or one in every seven Americans - received food stamps, more than at any other time in our nation's history.
In Vermont, more than one in eight households do not have the money to fully meet their food needs at all times, according to Hunger Free Vermont. More than 12,000 Vermont children depend on food shelves each month and almost 10,000 Vermont seniors face the threat of hunger.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
United States Senator for Vermont