MONTPELIER — Through a $10,000 donation from Rotary clubs across the state, the Vermont Foodbank will be distributing cheddar cheese from the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company.
“We applaud our partners in the effort to assist our most vulnerable citizens with food insecurity issues,” Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts said. “Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we must continue to recognize the hardships many Vermonters are experiencing. Our farmers and food businesses are making important efforts to address this, including food and funding.”
This is the second consecutive year Vermont Rotary groups have provided monetary support for a donation to the Vermont Foodbank. In 2020, Vermont Rotary groups were part of a collaboration to turn milk from Vermont dairies into yogurt and butter for distribution from the Foodbank.
“Throughout COVID-19, Rotary clubs in Vermont and New Hampshire have worked with community partners to help dairy farmers and food-insecure residents,” said Martin Cohn, a Brattleboro Rotary Club past-president who spearheaded the project.
“Members and clubs from two Rotary districts — 7870 and 7850 — reached into their pockets to enable the Vermont Foodbank to buy dairy products directly from a Vermont dairy producer. We are pleased to be a part of this initiative to get nutritious cheddar cheese to Vermont families during these difficult times and help a Vermont dairy farmer challenged by disruptions as a result of COVID-19.”
The purchase from Windsor-based Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company supplied 1,750 pounds of cheddar cheese, or 4,000 seven-ounce servings.
“We thank the Rotary Clubs of Vermont for their collaborative fundraising efforts, and for the opportunity to provide our cheese to Vermonters in a time of need,” said Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company CEO Kent Underwood. “Not only does this bolster the efforts of the Vermont Foodbank, but it also has a positive impact on our local employment and farm production.“
According to Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles, one in three Vermonters has faced hunger since the beginning of the pandemic. “These extreme numbers make it even more impactful to have the assistance of Rotary clubs across Vermont helping to feed our community,” he said.