Vermonter Delivers WIC Food Packets One Household at a Time

For Immediate Release: Oct. 2, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON –Don Maynard, 48, of Greensboro Bend, has been delivering WIC food packages to families through northern Vermont for nearly 20 years. Ask him how much longer he intends to make the home deliveries, across some of the more remote and difficult-to-reach back roads in the state, and he will reply, “As long as I can.”

Vermont is the only state in the nation that continues to home deliver WIC (the Special program Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) food packages. Maynard's service is one of eight small businesses that provide statewide home delivery. A program of the Vermont Department of Health, WIC has been serving Vermont families since 1974, providing healthy nutrition to babies and infants during their most vulnerable years.

Maynard, born in Fairfield, Vt., is proud Vermont continues to provide supplemental, healthy food door-to-door.

“It serves the state very well,” Maynard said. “In most states you have to use special WIC checks or vouchers to get your food packages at the grocery store, and it’s not as personal as it is here.”

Recipients of the food occasionally send cards and letters to Maynard’s business thanking them for the deliberate, dependable way his crew of four trucks go about their business. When Maynard first started deliveries in 1990 in St. Albans, he was serving 300 families a week. Today he serves more than 1,800 families in Franklin, Caledonia and Orleans County.

On Oct. 1, 2009, WIC revised its food offerings to include low-fat milk, whole grain breads, soy and tofu options, and incentive debit-cards that encourage families to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Maynard knows how important the packages are to each family and he can remember only three or four times in the past 19 years when his trucks were unable to make deliveries. Among the more difficult days was during the ice storm in 1998.

“That was a mess,” he said. “The power was out for days. I have to give the Vermont road crews a lot of credit because we could drive on the roads, they were passable. Walking was nearly impossible, but we could drive.”

Maynard still drives five days and more than 800 miles each week. He calls his delivery area “different territory with a lot of different folks.” The most remote spot he delivers to is a family in Granby.

“It’s out there,” he says. “You go up and over and it’s tucked in there. It is beautiful, though.”

For more information about WIC in Vermont, please visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/wic

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