Local News

Community sets new record for GMP Fill the Cupboard Challenge

Rutland Community Cupboard receives $36,584 in donations

Responding to a desperate call for help, the greater-Rutland community stepped up, far exceeding the goal of the Green Mountain Power Fill the Cupboard Challenge, setting a new record, and providing more than $36,500 to the Rutland Community Cupboard.

“The outpouring of support is humbling and beautiful,” said Rebekah Stephens, executive director of the Cupboard. “We have been inundated with requests for help in recent months, and for the past six weeks, flooded with checks and online donations. The community has filled our coffers, allowing us to help more people.”

The Fill the Cupboard Challenge evolved from a traditional food drive during the pandemic, going digital in 2020 for safety. Instead of food, organizers asked for cash donations. Retired disc jockey Terry Jaye partnered with GMP to raise awareness, and local businesses, religious organizations, groups, and families made donations ranging from $10 to $3,500. The new record of $36,584 surpassed the previous record by about $6,000.

“Because the Cupboard can buy food through the Vermont Food Bank at wholesale prices or below, it’s as if the community has donated $150,000 in food,” Jaye said.

“It is so inspiring to see the community response, and how everyone steps up time and time again to help neighbors in need,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello.

Just two years ago, the first year of the digital campaign, the goal was $25,000.

“There is incredible need, and this will help significantly to provide food to so many people,” Stephens said.

To support the Community Cupboard, donations can still be made by sending a check to 65 River St., Rutland, VT 05701 or online at rutlandcommunitycupboard.org.

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