The South Central Vermont Board of Realtors announced Tuesday that it has donated a total of $18,475 to seven area food pantries to help communities impacted by COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, the board said, food insecurity rates and reliance on food pantries are skyrocketing.
Typically, on any other given year, the South Central Vermont Board of Realtors collects donations at each of their meetings. This year, the board was not able to meet in person, so members decided to form a fundraising committee, which far surpassed its goal of $10,000.
Diane Allen of the Jamaica/Wardsboro Food Pantry said that, with the money raised from SCVBR, they will be able to offer side dishes and fruit in addition to the hams they usually distribute for the holidays.
Scott Winslow of The Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services said in a statement, “Every year, GBICS kitchen cupboard serves almost 1,000 families struggling with food security. Serving an average of about 100 shoppers per week, our greatest need is sustainable funding for buying food, most of which we get wholesale from the Vermont Food Bank. We also have a great partner in Mighty Food Farm in Shaftsbury, who keep us stocked with fresh, local produce during the growing season.
“Of course, the greatest risk to the program right now is COVID, but continuing community support helps keep us running,” Winslow said.
“2020 has been a difficult year for so many,” said Carrie Mathews of the South Central Vermont Board of Realtors. “If you are able to, please help others in need.”