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Shooting Down Hunger 

Side Dishes: Vermonters Find Creative Ways to Help Out

Published December 3, 2008 at 6:55 a.m.

On a recent list released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Vermont ranked as the 14th hungriest state in the Union. Lean times, indeed. But on the brighter side, Vermonters are getting creative in their efforts to combat food insecurity. Here are a few unique approaches . . .


If you’re the kind of hunter who loves stalking a deer through the frozen woods but isn’t keen on stewing up the venison, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf wants to hear from you.

In 2007, according to a recent report on WCAX, hunters dropped off 150 pounds of fresh and frozen deer and moose meat. It’s a great way to control the cervidal population and feed the hungry.

But if you’re eager to get a buck off the back of your truck, take note: Carcasses are not accepted. Meat must be properly butchered before donation.


After Matthew Manning threw a whipped-cream pie in Governor Douglas’ face during Montpelier’s Fourth of July parade, he pled guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. Not to mention wasting food.

So the court made his punishment fit his crime. Manning was sentenced to five days on work crew and asked to make a donation of $21.35 — the amount of Douglas’ dry-cleaning bill — to the Vermont Foodbank.

True, compulsory donations may not be the most reliable fundraising source. Still, the example of Bove’s is pretty encouraging. Ordered by the Vermont Attorney General to pay a fine of $5000 and donate $50,000 worth of food to the Foodbank for using the name “Bove’s of Vermont” on its labels, even though its products aren’t made in state, the Italian eatery and meatball manufacturer opted to give twice that amount.


In a different vein, the folks at Green Mountain Harley-Davidson in Essex are using chili to help keep Vermonters from being, well, chilly.

As part of its annual winter celebration — during which visitors drop off coats for donation to the Burlington Emergency Shelter — the Hog dealer is hosting a chili-making contest.

On December 6 at 12:30 p.m., judges will make the Crock-Pot rounds and decide whose chili reigns supreme. According to a press release, “Trophies and prizes will be given for . . . heartiest, spiciest and most unique.” Apparently the judges are hot for creative names, too.

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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