GMNF employees help to feed local families in need

Forest Service
Left to right: John Sinclair, Forest supervisor; Shireen Yara, Visitor Services Information Assistant; Meggan Hanna, BROC Community Food Shelf Coordinator; Smokey Bear; and Tom Donahue, CEO at BROC Community Action pose with more than 200 pounds of donated food. Photo provided.


RUTLAND, Vt. – Employees of the Green Mountain National Forest recently launched an effort to feed local families in need. The local food drive, known nationally as Feds Feed Families ran through Thursday, Oct. 18 and is benefiting several local food shelves in Vermont.

Teaming up with local social service organizations and food shelves, the forest reported 315 pounds of donated food and other basic necessities. Recognizing that this has been a been a difficult year for many families in Vermont and elsewhere, the Forest Service wanted to step up efforts to provide much needed food to local families before the winter months. Each Forest Service office in Vermont – Rutland, Manchester, and Rochester – participated in the food drive.

This food drive is just the most recent example of Forest Service employees trying to find a fairly simple way to contribute to those that are facing difficult financial times. In recent years, employees have also pooled resources that have been contributed to the United Way during the holiday season.

“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 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.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to the employees of the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests for collecting all this food and teaming up with The BROC Community Food Shelf to help feed the many local families that come to us facing hunger every day,” said Tom Donahue, CEO at BROC Community Action.

All of the food collected from the food drive will benefit Vermont families. Employees on the Green Mountain National Forest hope that the food will help to alleviate some of the day-to-day stresses that people may be faced with leading to the holiday season. According to the USDA, each year while many American families go hungry, more than 100 billion pounds of food is thrown away in this country.

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