USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Food Programs
BRGNS helps administer and manage several USDA food programs for the towns of Mount Holly, Plymouth, Ludlow, Cavendish, Belmont and Proctorsville. These programs involve federal and state qualifications and require an application process. We can help determine eligibility and we can help fill out the application. Please ask one of our employees for assistance.
The USDA buys food, including processing and packaging, and ships it to the States. The amount received by each State depends on its low-income and unemployed population. State agencies work out details of administration and distribution. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected. In Vermont that is the Vermont Foodbank, which in turn distributes the food to food pantries such as BRGNS that directly serve the public.
Each State sets criteria to determine what households are eligible to receive food for home consumption. Income standards may, at the State’s discretion, be met through participation in other existing Federal, State, or local food, health, or welfare programs for which eligibility is based on income. States can adjust the income criteria in order to ensure that assistance is provided only to those households most in need. Currently, Vermont considers any household at or below 185% of the federal poverty level as eligible for TEFAP food distributions. BRGNS has the necessary application forms and can assist in filling them out. Please stop in to the office at 37B Main Street or call (802) 228-3663 for assistance.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Programs (CSFP) is a federally funded program, which works to improve the health of people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of this group. CSFP distributes food once a month.
The program is administered in Vermont through the Vermont Foodbank and the food is distributed through BRGNS. There are income qualifications that an applicant must meet in order to participate in this program. These limits are subject to change. To see the current income qualifications, please click here. BRGNS has applications and can assist in filling out the necessary paperwork. Please call (802) 228-3663 or come to 37B Main Street, Ludlow for more information.
Annual Holiday Food Program
BRGNS has a very active Holiday food and toy program in which we deliver full holiday meals to distressed families and individuals who meet our income criteria. In the most recent year twenty-two volunteers came together on a Wednesday evening and packed 117 boxes with food. Two days later some seventy volunteers loaded cars and trucks and delivered 224 boxes of food and 105 bags of children’s toys to 107 families totaling 266 people of whom 95 were under the age of thirteen.
Over the past four years we have served over 526 families or 1,242 individuals with full holiday dinners including gifts for the younger children. This is a community effort involving dozens of local businesses and individuals. With economic reverses brought on by the convergence of individualized problems and the general economic decline the need for a little holiday cheer is greater than ever.
We use an extensive network of local social service providers including churches and agencies to gather names of those who may need assistance. We solicit applications from those referred to us and from those whom we have recently helped. We rely on a very large group of local volunteers to gather food donations, to purchase or solicit gifts for the children, to pack boxes and bags with food and gifts, and to deliver them in time for the holidays.
We can always use more help. If you are interested in donating your time and effort please contact us at (802) 228-3663.
When Tropical Storm Irene devastated the Black River area, as well as much of the rest of Vermont, BRGNS sprang into action
to provide emergency assistance to those who suffered from the loss of home, general possessions, and inability to work.
The needs created by the flooding did not fit the usual patterns seen by BRGNS, but the assistance demanded by the disaster was immediate and basic.
Since BRGNS had been distributing aid to the community for over forty years, the community turned to us as a hub for dispensing food clothing and financial assistance in the aftermath of the floods.
BRGNS made minor changes to its usual process of dealing with these needs so that those suffering from Irene's devastation could receive the type of assistance that they needed. BRGNS also became the focal point for financial and in-kind donations from outside the Black River area. As a result, we created a disaster fund that distributed an enormous volume of monetary help to many, many people in the towns that we serve. BRGNS created that fund as a permanent disaster fund that will stand ready to serve the next disaster, large or small. Hopefully, such disasters will be very infrequent.