This report explores strategies to end child food insecurity in Vermont. Although Vermont is a small, predominantly rural state, it is facing many of the same challenges as other regions in ensuring that all families have reliable access to affordable, healthy food. The state has taken advantage of being able to expanded eligibility for its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Program, but one in eight households still struggles with food insecurity, and 19,000 Vermont children live in food-insecure households. The high cost of living, rural isolation, and challenges in reaching all eligible children with school-based assistance all contribute to the problem.
We provide recommendations to build on existing, strong programming and cross-sector collaborations in Vermont— to reduce and ultimately eliminate childhood food insecurity. These opportunities for action and investment include: making school meals free for all students; engaging older and disconnected youth; targeting Vermont-specific challenges including transportation and the opioid crisis; and fostering collective action to maximize resource and drive systems change.