Gifts crush GMP Food Challenge goal
Responding to a desperate call for help, the greater Rutland community is providing nearly $30,000 to the Rutland Community Cupboard, surpassing the goal of the Green Mountain Power Food Challenge.
“This event and these donations could not have come at a better time,” said Rebekah Stephens, executive director of the Cupboard. “We are in a very difficult time due to Covid-19, with high unemployment and underemployment forcing many to seek help, often for the first time.”
The GMP Food Challenge, which in the past encouraged teams, clubs, groups, individuals, and organizations to collect food items and drop them off at the Cupboard, went digital this year due to Covid-19, and challenged the community to donate cash, instead.
The pandemic has prompted record-setting demand for help from the Community Cupboard, yet made the normal food collection, sorting, and distribution process potentially risky.
Mix 98.1-WJJR partnered with GMP to raise awareness, and local businesses, groups, and families made donations ranging from $1 to over $1,000, donating $28,901 in total, including $4,000 in matching funds from GMP.
“Because of the Cupboard’s buying power through the Vermont Food Bank, this is like donating $100,000 in food,” said Green Mountan Power Vice President Steve Costello. “This will provide an enormous boost to the Cupboard and the local families they serve.
Stephens said she was grateful for the outpouring of support. “When we set the $25,000 goal, I was hopeful that we would be able to reach it, but this is such a blessing,” Stephens said. “This affirms what we have known for years: This is a truly wonderful and giving community.”
Terry Jaye, operations manager at Catamount Radio, said the community response confirms the best of the Rutland region. “I’ve seen it over and over – people in this community always come through for one another,” Jaye said.
Online donations are still being accepted. To donate visit rutlandcommunitycupboard.org.