BARRE, VT -- The Vermont Foodbank received a $2,000 grant from Plum Creek in support of the organization's BackPack Program.

Started in 2008, the Vermont Foodbank BackPack Program is a weekend nutrition program designed to meet the needs of children struggling with hunger at times when other resources, like school breakfast and lunch, are not available, such as weekend and school vacations. BackPack is a nationally-recognized program of Feeding America. Bags of kid friendly, vitamin-fortified food from all five food groups are packed and distributed to participating schools and food is placed into the backpacks of participants while students are not in the classroom.

"Plum Creek is pleased to assist in answering the need to help ensure that low-income schoolchildren around Essex County have healthy food to eat on the weekend, allowing them to come to school on Monday alert and engaged, better able to succeed in school," said Mark Doty, community affairs manager for Plum Creek.

"We are so grateful to have new support from Plum Creek for our BackPack Program," said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. "Each year, the Vermont Foodbank provides food for nearly 34,000 Vermont children, and the BackPack Program is one of the important ways in which we ensure our kids have enough food to live healthy, productive lives."

During the 2014-15 school year, the Vermont Foodbank's BackPack Program provided food to 1,000 Vermont children at schools all over Vermont.

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 FY2014, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly 9 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.

Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the nation with more than 6 million acres of timberlands in 19 states. The organization also operates wood products mills in the Northwest and manages working forests using sustainable practices to benefit Plum Creek's many stakeholders. For more information, visit www.plumcreek.com.

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