While I appreciate the effort put forth to try to understand the plight of too many in our state, I want to add a few more things about food insecurity.
Having children adds a strange complication to being on such a tight budget.
Happily, Vermont participates in the WIC program, which is a great help, delivering cereal, milk, eggs, bread and cheese to eligible households twice a month, if not on their doorstep, then to a central location. Unscrupulous neighbors have been known to steal food off front steps and some people have transportation problems, but it is a great help.
There is a gap of about a year between the end of WIC and free or reduced price lunches at school. Add in breakfast before school, and the food budget almost seems workable. Until school breaks. Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are almost defined by food—and most children have an entire week off before those holidays. Two extra meals to think about for each child for five extra days right before what is supposed to be a meal of plenty is so difficult, heartbreaking and soul crushing. No one wants to worry their children with money troubles. We all want to be providers for our children.
State assistance is based on your gross pay. If you get a raise but your tax rate goes up, your net pay is less after the raise. You now have less in pocket, no 3Squares and no heat assistance. Congratulations on that raise.
Please keep donating to the food shelf. Because there are so few resources to go around, eligible households can only visit a limited number of times a year.
— B. Milks