PUTNEY, Vt. – The Putney Foodshelf, Putney Community Cares, and Senior Solutions have come together to launch a campaign to ensure that 100% of the residents of Putney are both food and fuel secure.
One of the challenges experienced through the Covid pandemic is that while many food programs have been made available, changes in delivery have presented communication issues. This includes changes in food delivery options, functioning of congregate meal sites, Meals on Wheels delivery procedures, food shelf procedures, and both the advent and discontinuance of a wide variety of supplemental food options. As a response to this, the three organizations will engage in a month-long, intensive community-based campaign to clarify access to food resources and establish messaging that makes participation in these programs a community-strengthening endeavor.
This month every household in Putney will receive a letter briefly describing food resources available in the town. It will address both food and fuel resources. This information will also be made available at town institutions. Volunteer staff from the three agencies will be promoting the campaign at town events such as the farmers market.
The timing of the campaign coincides with the Putney Foodshelf’s “Fill the Foodshelf” campaign, which encourages Putney residents to purchase needed items from a prepared list available at the Putney General Store and the Putney Food Co-op. The foodshelf will continue curbside shopping every Saturday between 9-10:30 a.m. at the Putney Community Center on Christian Square. Shoppers select items from an order form that changes weekly and remain in their cars while orders are completed. No fee is charged. Deliveries can be arranged for those who cannot appear personally.
For many, there is a stigma attached to food benefits. Senior Solutions 3SquaresVT Outreach Specialist Thom Simmons said, “More than 60% of Windham County seniors who are eligible for food and fuel benefits do not participate in these programs. We need people to understand that participation in these programs actually helps strengthen local communities and their economies. More than $9 million is added to the Vermont economy each month through the 3SquaresVT program alone, and that doesn’t even include the multiplying effect of those dollars throughout the community.”
Fuel Assistance and 3SquaresVT can both be requested on the same application. Programs for food and fuel assistance are not limited to seniors. Any income-eligible resident of any age can apply for these and other programs through Putney Community Cares, where Community Advocate Kate Kelly can assist with application support for essential services.
For more information, contact for the three organizations as follows:
- Putney Community Cares: 802-387-2120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Putney Foodshelf: 802-387-8551 or email email@example.com
- Senior Solutions HelpLine: 802-885-2669