SASH Press Release – October 2015

The Vermont Foodbank and SASH Bring Fresh, Healthy Food to Vermonters in Need

October 15, 2015 – SASH(℠)   (Support And Services at Home) and the Vermont Foodbank announces their partnership to  bring meals to the  homes of seniors and adults with disabilities. With Direct Distribution serving over 25 SASH housing sites and community locations, many of the 1,300 SASH participants and community members are happy to have this partnership in their lives.

SASH Coordinator Alicia Moyer shared, “My first food drop was a huge success. It brought out the best in everyone; people laughed and joked, offered to help one another, and to bring food up to residents who were shut in.”

According to Vermont Foodbank surveys conducted at various food drop locations, this partnership has allowed people to free up funds to pay for medicine, utilities, transportation and rent due to a decrease in food costs.  Additionally, this partnership has encouraged  resident and community members to engage more with SASH staff and their neighbors.  73% of survey respondents live alone. Social isolation is a major contributor to depression and other serious health conditions so SASH and the Vermont Foodbank are working to connect people in many creative ways.

“The food drop at Union Square has given a face to SASH in a building where most of the residents are not elderly but younger disabled.  It has been much appreciated and has provided me with the opportunity to connect on a very close and personal level with participants whom I may not otherwise see in my office,” shared Denise Dupuis, SASH Coordinator for Windham-Windsor Housing Trust.

Many SASH staff have incorporated food education in their food drops with cooking demonstrations and healthy recipes based on the in-season produce provided. There are regular SASH Wellness Nurse presentations on healthy eating to manage chronic conditions and remain healthy over time.

Alex Bornstein, Vermont Foodbank’s Chief Operations Officer, shared, “The Vermont Foodbank has made it a priority to ensure that food insecure Vermonters have access to healthy, fresh produce.  We set aggressive distribution and programming goals for 2015 which were achieved in large part due to our wonderful partnership with SASH.  The distributions allow us to move produce rapidly through our distribution system to ensure freshness, give us an opportunity to engage directly with customers, and enable us to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.  We are very excited about the future of this program.”

About SASH (Support And Services at Home)
The SASH(℠) model is a care coordination and health promotion program which assists residents in accessing the care they need to stay healthy while living safely and comfortably at home.   SASH is available statewide as part of Vermont’s Blueprint for Health.  The SASH model provides an on-site Coordinator and a part-time Wellness Nurse who work as part of the SASH Team made up of Cathedral Square, CVAA, Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties, Howard Center and the participating resident or community member.  SASH serves over 4,800 Vermonters.

About the Vermont Foodbank
Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving Vermont through a network of food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and youth programs. In FY2015, the Vermont Foodbank distributed 10 million pounds of food to 153,100 Vermonters.  The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. Charity Navigator awarded the Vermont Foodbank four out of a possible four stars. Learn more at www.charitynavigator.org.

If you need general information about SASH or would like to arrange an interview, please contact our Communications office:
Chris Falk, Director of Communications, 802-859-8880

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