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Food Help on the Way for Vermont Households Hit by Severe Storms

Press Release
Release No.
USDA No. 0156.23
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2023 – Families affected by severe storms in the areas of Johnson, Ludlow, Hardwick, Barre/Berlin/ Montpelier/Northfield and Chester will soon be able to receive food packages containing nutritious, high-quality foods that are 100% grown and produced on farms in the U.S. – known as USDA Foods. USDA approved the short-term measure to address an immediate need for food until a longer-term solution is ready to be put in place.

The Disaster Household Distribution program is approved to start on July 20, 2023. Vermont officials will work directly with its partners and local food banks to issue food boxes to approximately 8,000 individuals located in the affected areas.

The Disaster Household Distribution program helps states after a disaster disrupts normal food supply channels. For instance, when disasters damage or destroy grocery stores, states can redirect stored supplies of USDA Foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) toward emergencies. The USDA can also ship USDA Food from other states. USDA can then replace the redirected foods so that the state continues to have USDA foods available for those in need.

Additionally, USDA will continue to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in Vermont to buy hot foods with their SNAP benefit card at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through Aug. 18, 2023.

Today’s announcement is the latest action USDA has taken to help Vermont residents cope with recent severe storms and their aftermath, which also include:

  • A waiver for the 10-day reporting requirement for the replacement of food purchased with SNAP benefits that were lost as a result of power outages due to the severe storms and flooding for all SNAP participants in the state of Vermont.

For more information about this and other available aid, please visit Vermont’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.

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Page updated: July 31, 2023