Giving Tuesday: Every Gift To VPR Also Benefits The Vermont Foodbank

Nov 30, 2016

UPDATED: What an amazing day! Our original goal for our Giving Tuesday effort was 1,700 gifts, which would have matched last year's campaign. Instead, we received 1,826 gifts! As a result, 33,846 meals will be provided to Vermonters in need via the Vermont Foodbank, thanks to the Vermont Community Foundation. Your incredible generosity of spirit continues to astound us. We feel so fortunate to be able to serve this community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The day also got VPR's year-end membership drive off to a great start, with $109,700 raised toward our overall goal of $430,000 to support the programming, news, and music on VPR and VPR Classical.

ORIGINAL: November 29, 2016 is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide celebration of philanthropy during this season of gratitude. This year, VPR is collaborating with the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Community Foundation to provide healthy meals to hungry Vermonters.

With every gift to VPR on Monday and Tuesday, November 28-29, the Vermont Community Foundation will donate 21 meals to the Foodbank - enough to feed a neighbor in need for a full week.

You can participate in this partnership at, or call 800-639-6391.  

Every gift makes a difference, and it's a great way to help a family in need while supporting your public radio station. The Vermont Foodbank serves nearly 62,000 Vermont households and one in four Vermonters, including 34,000 children, 26,000 seniors and 12,000 veterans annually.

In Vermont, we value strong communities and helping one another. Your gift to VPR now through Tuesday, November 29 will feed a Vermonter in need for a week. Thank you for being part of our community!


What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a worldwide celebration of philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday harnesses the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities and kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Has VPR done this kind of partnership before?
VPR has partnered with a number of organizations over the years where gifts to VPR also help benefit another cause. In the past, we've worked with the Vermont Foodbank, the Shareheat and Warmth programs (heating assistance) and the Children's Literacy Foundation. We give voice to these issues through our news programming, of course, but as a statewide institution deeply rooted in the communities we serve, we feel a responsibility to do what we can to improve the quality of life here in our beloved state.

How much money is going to the Foodbank with my donation?
The Vermont Community Foundation is donating $7 to the Foodbank for every gift to VPR during our Giving Tuesday effort. Since every dollar donated to the Foodbank can provide three meals for our neighbors, each $7 donation can provide 21 meals to a neighbor in need, enough for a full week.

What constitutes a “meal”?
They use the word meals because it’s based on the USDA's universal meal size, which is based on pounds of food which the Foodbank then converts into meals. They could talk about pounds, but most people don’t go to the grocery store and think “I need 30 pounds of food to get me through the week.” In short, the Foodbank is providing a variety of food that people are using to supplement their meals— they are not typically the only source of food for a Vermonter in need. Often Vermonters who struggle with food security are looking to a number of different resources to make ends meet.

Why can’t you fundraise directly for the Foodbank on the air?
The FCC prohibits us from fundraising directly on the air for any organization other than ourselves. However, this kind of partnership is allowed and we see it as a way to do a little bit more for our community. In addition to providing meals to Vermonters, the effort is also helping to raise awareness about food insecurity in our community. We are also encouraging our listeners to support other organizations they care about. The Vermont Foodbank is doing a fundraiser of their own today, as well. 

On rare occasions, the FCC has granted VPR a special one-day license to fundraise for another organization. In the last 15 years, VPR has held one-day fundraisers for WNYC to restore their tower after 9/11 in 2001, for the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

About The Vermont Foodbank
The mission of the Vermont Foodbank is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry. Thousands of our neighbors struggle to meet their food needs. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of quality food to more than 153,000 Vermonters. Food is gathered from Vermont farms, manufacturers, grocery stores, businesses, individuals, schools, and a national network of food banks.  Food is then distributed with the Foodbank’s fleet of trucks to 270 food shelves, meals sites, shelters, senior centers, and youth programs around Vermont.

Facts About Hunger in Vermont and the Vermont Foodbank

  • One in four Vermonters (153,000) are served annually by the Vermont Foodbank network.
  • According to the USDA, 11% of Vermonters - more than 71,000 people of all ages do not have enough food, but the Foodbank reports that many more people are accessing their local food shelf or meal site to make ends meet.
  • 11.4% of all Vermont households are food insecure. That means their financial resources make it likely they will not have enough food (USDA 3 year average).
  • More than 25,000 children (21%) under the age of 18 are hungry because their family does not have enough food.
  • Children living in homes that do not have enough food are at greater risk for poor health, nutritional deficiencies and obesity/overweight, as well as developmental delays, poor academic achievement, depression and increased aggressive or hyperactive behavior.
  • The Vermont Foodbank serves nearly 62,000 Vermont households, including almost 34,000 children, 26,000 seniors and 12,000 veterans annually.
  • The Vermont Foodbank serves Vermonters in need of food with the help of food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals and housing sites.
  • 56% of the households served by the Foodbank network had to choose between paying for food or paying for medical care at least once this year.
  • 72% of households served by the Foodbank report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options.

Sources: US Census Bureau Three Year Average 2010-2012, Hunger In America 2014

What is the Vermont Community Foundation?
The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of more than 700 funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.

In 2015, the Vermont Community Foundation—in partnership with its fundholders—awarded 2,450 grants totaling $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations in Vermont and beyond.