The good news: Vermont has not had a terrible sudden devastating event like Irene strike in over two years.
The bad news: We have had a number of little events converge to create a perfect storm of Growing Hunger. Some supply lines to the Vermont Food Bank have lessened or vanished completely while prices for food everywhere have gone up. The job market here is not growing sufficiently. And Federal Food Stamps –SNAP-have been cut nationwide and may be cut again come January. Most difficult of all is that local Food Shelves have more folks coming to us for food. We welcome them always and they never go home empty handed, but the fact is that the need is greater and the cupboards are noticeably harder to keep stocked. In fact, some months recently we have served as many guests as we did in the fall of 2011 after Irene.
Enter The Hunger Heroes! Who are they? This week it is Angkor Wat Restaurant of Woodstock, along with Woodstock Girl Scout Troop 42059. Last Thursday, after more than a month of careful planning and spreading the word, this amazing group of girls, their leader Robin Ennis, and Sunny and Monica at Angkor Wat held a benefit dinner for the Food Shelf at the restaurant. Well, I want to tell you, it was some event. Guests were greeted warmly by the scouts and led to their tables which were all attractively set. The menu was special and perfect for a crowd-one entree and lots of tasty appetizers-not to mention the best tea I have ever had. Everything went very smoothly, as the girls, who were the only wait staff, knew the menu and handled themselves with real grace. We dined early in the evening, and by the time we left nearly every table in the cozy, immaculate restaurant was full.
The result, in terms of numbers, was spectacular – one thousand dollars ($1,000) was the amount of the check presented to the Food Shelf! We will be able to use that money to buy enough nutritious food for about 3,000 meals. The eight scouts- Katherine Saywer, Stepanie Hendrick, Teresa Ennis, Megan Dalton, Taylor Tolar, along and their leader Robin Ennis and Angkor Wat owners – Chi(Sunny) Tuckerman, Monica Tuckerman are true Hunger Heroes.
The recipe for this great success came from the girls themselves, who are mostly sophomores at the high school, all wanting to do something to help the community. Coincidently so did Sunny and Monica. They kindly arranged to give all the profits (after cost of the supplies) and tips to the Food Shelf. We are truly grateful to this group of young people, to Sunny and Monica and to the huge outpouring of generosity by all the folks who supported this effort by purchasing meals and adding generous gratuities.
— Diana Brown (from Vermont Standard, 11/14/13)