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We know that this past week has been a challenge for everyone. Today we are bringing you some recipes and resources to help you and your family source and prepare healthy food through this difficult time. First, we want to address those that are most vulnerable who may be experiencing food insecurity. If you are in this position please take a look at the resources that have been compiled by Hunger Free Vermont. We are so thankful for their work and expertise in this area.

For others who may not be in immediate need, but are becoming anxious because of the numerous new articles about long lines and empty shelves, this recent interview with Greg Ferrara, president of the National Grocers Association, may offer some encouragement. The main take away is that individuals need to remain calm during this time. Buy what you need right now and remember to think about your neighbor. They need food, and some of them cannot buy a month’s worth of groceries at one time. Here are some helpful resources and tips for buying food.

  1. Be realistic about what you need and don’t waste food. Americans throw out 103 pounds of spoiled food per year. That works out to be $53.00 a week. Use this time to rethink how your family uses food. Make it a competition for your family! How little food can you throw away this month?
  2. Use fewer ingredients. Try some of these 5 ingredient or less recipes.
  3. Shop your pantry. If you are fortunate enough to have a well stocked pantry, do you really need five more boxes of pasta? Knowing what you have and using it is a good way to help our your neighbors and save you a trip to the grocery store. This can also help you reduce your food budget.
  4. Don’t buy things you would not normally eat. Going back to tip 1, if you hate canned beets they shouldn’t be in your grocery cart. These items are likely going to be thrown out later or donated to a food shelf (and if it is expired don’t send it to a food shelf. They CANNOT give expired items to their patrons and must spend the time to throw it out).
  5. That being said, if you have the capacity food shelves are especially in need right now. Check out the Vermont Food Bank and Hunger Free Vermont to find out how you can be most helpful.
  6. Be nice to grocery store workers. In Vermont they are considered tier one employees and essential.

We’ve got you! Here are some other great resources and ideas to keep you and your family informed and going today.

  • Many of the packaged foods have flown off the shelves, but there are ways to make those items with ingredients you may already have in your pantry, like this unprocessed hamburger helper.
  • We can’t wait to get back to work in schools. In the meantime here is a glimpse at some of the work we have done.
  • Find a moment of calm with free access to this course. Now more than ever, you need to be prioritizing your mental health.
  • Reading is one way to get out of the present for a moment. Here is a list of children’s chapter books you may enjoy reading with your child. Can we suggest Harry Potter? There are a few Harry Potter fans on the RiseVT team.
  • Try shopping your pantry this coming week. If you need some inspiration Ina Garten has been giving advice via her Instagram.