Hunger Free Vermont assists schools in establishing and expanding school breakfast and lunch programs, which provide a reliable source of nutrition for school age children. Only 17% of Vermont's schools served breakfast in 1993. Today, 98% of Vermont's schools serve nutritious meals to more than 90,000 students.
Hunger Free Vermont helps community groups provide nutritious meals to low-income children during out-of-school time during the summer months and in afterschool programming.
- Summer Meals for Kids: 802 children received summer meals at 18 sites in 1993. In 2012, over 6,800 children accessed healthy meals and educational activities in 220 sites in Vermont.
- After School Meals and Snacks: Hunger Free Vermont helps connect afterschool programs with federal nutrition programs to fund nutritious afterschool meals and snacks through either the National School Lunch Program (snack) or the At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program (snack and supper). Community groups provide nutritious meals to low-income children participating in afterschool programming.
Hunger Free Vermont’s Learning Kitchen classes empower low-income Vermonters to make healthy choices through nutrition education, emphasizing the importance of regular physical activity, and improving cooking skills. The Learning Kitchen started in 1999 with just 5 series and 47 participants. To date there have been hundreds of series serving over 7,000 Vermonters.
Hunger Free Vermont improves access to and participation in 3SquaresVT (formerly the Food Stamp Program) which is one of the most reliable, consistent, and dignified means to prevent hunger. In 2001 there were only 38,558 participants. Today there are over 93,000 participants in Vermont.
Because good nutrition is especially crucial while a young child’s brain is developing, Hunger Free Vermont is helping child care providers access the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This program provides child care centers, home-based child care, and after school programs with nutrition education and reimbursements. As of 2010, 7,100 children in child care received nutritious meals through CACFP, bringing in $3.9 million to Vermont and reaching over 300 more chilcren in Vermont compared to 2009.
Hunger Free Vermont has evolved into Vermont's principal anti-hunger authority and leading nutrition policy advocate. We were the primary force behind Act 22, which greatly increased access to the School Meal Program. We are now advocating for improved access to all federally funded food and nutrition programs.
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a proud supporter of our anti-hunger work. In 2013 we received continued funding from FRAC to help make possible our work to raise awareness about the extent of hunger and move closer to the ultimate goal of ending hunger and malnutrition in Vermont.