Every single world religion advocates that the hungry be fed and that the hungry are fed without judgment or casting blame. It is heartening to see so many businesses, individuals, and faith-based and state organizations working to walk that walk during these difficult times.

Recently the Vermont National Guard distributed Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) at a variety of locations in Vermont. During that first distribution almost 420,000 cases of MREs were distributed. There are 16 meals per case. Do the math – that’s 6.72 million meals distributed to Vermonters who are food insecure. (More MRE distributions are planned.)

The need is vast and deep and pervasive and won’t abate as fast as Vermont’s economy reopens. There is going to be a lag. Luckily people are stepping up to the plate.

Locally our local restaurants have partnered and continue to partner with the Mad River Valley Community Fund to provide vouchers and discounted meals for anyone in need. Local businesses and individuals are working with the Mad River Valley Food Shelf to make sure those who need food will get it and that it is delivered (like Meals On Wheels) by volunteers and other folks in our community. Anyone in need.

As of this week, Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Waitsfield will serve as a local distribution point for ShiftMeals, a program that provides meals for laid-off restaurant workers, artists, gig workers, farmers and anyone else affected by the crisis. Anyone affected.

Camp Meade in Middlesex is planning a June 6 food distribution day for all in need that will rely on regional and state organizations as well as local bakers, local restaurants and local folks to provide food for a drive-thru distribution meant to celebrate community members helping community members. Donations to help restaurants defray the cost of ingredients will be accepted. All in need.

The Harwood Unified Union School District food service team continues to provide amazing and locally sourced meals to every single child under 18 years of age who needs one in the school district. Every child.

It’s an impressive patchwork of well-organized groups and individuals who take the plain meaning of feeding the hungry to heart, no exceptions and no judgment.