True North Reports traveled around Burlington late last month to take photos of the increasing squalor of the Queen City, which includes everything from homeless encampments and trash to graffiti and drug needles.
Maybe Burlington should ask the homeless to serve in a community improvement corps in return for all the benefits that are attracting them there. But then Burlington would have to say no to the homeless who didn’t care to participate.
Gov. Phil Scott and administration officials Friday outlined his plans to help transition the estimated 2,700 homeless Vermonters out of the 76 hotels and motels since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, the Goddard College radio show “Gathering Peace” interviewed a city mayor and homeless shelter co-director to discuss Vermont’s imminent homeless crisis.
One problem with school lunches has been waste. About 30 million out of 49.2 million U.S. students receive school lunches. But kids throw away a lot of food, especially if it is unsavory. One study reports that K-12 children throw away about half of school cafeteria food.
When these families are sent outside with nowhere to go, they will be exited to our downtowns, to our communities. Our communities do not have the resources to support a mass unsheltering of people across the state.
On Friday, the House Committee on Agriculture, Food Resiliency and Forestry voted 9-2 in favor of advancing a bill that would create a universal school meal program paid for by Vermonters.
Social services leaders say they’re scrambling to figure out what to do when the state’s program to help homeless people stay in hotels ends — either next month as slated or this summer if legislation is passed.
Vermont is rushing rashly into a permanent universal student meals program that will cost taxpayers an estimated $27 million yearly. This sudden push is being driven by a handful of political activists, while ignoring the sources and impacts of funding the program.
Vermont already pays some of the highest per pupil education costs in the country relative to income — making universal school meal expenditures permanent will increase that distinction.
“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” is a familiar adage. The phrase holds specific economic meaning — that even if the state provides welfare or something else for the people in need, it is in fact bought or provided by other people of the same community through taxes.
The public health emergency was renewed for COVID, but due to budget cuts the 15% increase in 3SquaresVT benefits was not. Reversion to pre-COVID benefit levels will commence in March.