Manchester >> Employees of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests have launched a bi-state effort to feed local families in need.

The food drive, known nationally as Feds Feed Families runs through Aug. 30 and will benefit local food shelves in Vermont and New York. Teaming up with local social service organizations, food shelves, the Rutland Price Chopper and the Ovid Big M, the Forest Service has set a goal of reaching 1,000 pounds of donated food by the end of August. Recognizing that this has been a difficult year for many families in Vermont, New York and elsewhere, the Forest Service is stepping up in an effort to provide much needed food to families before the winter months. Each Forest Service office in Vermont; Rutland, Manchester, Middlebury and Rochester will participate in the food drive. The Hector Ranger District on the Finger Lakes National Forest in New York will also be working to gather food for a local food shelf. In addition, the Rutland Price Chopper has joined in the effort, offering to collect food items from patrons at their Rutland location, and the Ovid Big M will be doing the same in New York.

Employees of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests recognize that many Vermonters and New Yorkers are working hard to make ends meet and they hope the food drive will help to alleviate some of the stresses put on families this time of year. "We are always looking for ways to support local organizations in and around the communities that we live and work in," said John Sinclair, Forest Supervisor for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. "Our efforts in Vermont and New York are threefold: We get to contribute food to local people in need, we get to raise awareness about issues like hunger and homelessness, and we get a chance to showcase other dedicated partners who have the common vision of helping people who live in our communities," Sinclair added.


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Employees in Vermont and New York will begin donating non-perishable food items this week. Since the campaign began in 2009, Federal workers have donated and collected over 15 million pounds of food and other non-perishable items to support families across America. To contribute, employees and the public can bring non-perishable food items and drop them off Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM at one of the Forest Service locations listed below. Contributions can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Rutland Price Chopper. Contributions can be made from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday -through Saturday and from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Ovid Big M.

Each year, while many American families go hungry, more than 100 billion pounds of food is thrown away in this country.

VERMONT

Rutland — Forest Supervisor's Office — 231 North Main Street, Rutland — 802-747- 6700

Rutland — Price Chopper — 38 Rutland Shopping Plaza, Rutland — 802-747- 7880

Manchester — Ranger Station — 2538 Depot Street, Manchester Center — 802-362- 2307

Middlebury — Ranger Station — 1007 Route 7 South, Middlebury — 802-388- 4362

Rochester — Ranger Station — 99 Ranger Road, Rochester — 802-767- 4261

NEW YORK

Hector — Ranger Station — 5218 State Route 414, Hector, N.Y. — 607-546- 4470

Ovid — Big M — 7174 Main Street, Ovid, N.Y. — 607-869- 3551