Since the start of 2009, unemployment and hunger are escalating in Vermont faster than in most other states. Now a new report, released last week, claims Vermont is the sixth hungriest state in the nation.
Over 14,000 Vermont households (1 in 20) are suffering the most severe form of hunger, where adults frequently go without food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) annual report. This number has increased since 2007, putting Vermont sixth in the nation, according to the USDA report.
Meal programs and food pantries are overwhelmed with requests, often by people who used to donate food and now must ask for help.
An afterschool program in Newport is seeing more and more children who depend on school lunch as their only reliable meal. The director of this program often hears, "my mom can't go to the store until the beginning of the month." This child is living the stark reality of the growing hunger indicated by the USDA report.