Capstone Community Action and VSECU Partner on ‘Fuel Your Neighbors’ to Provide Emergency Food and Heating Assistance to Vulnerable Vermonters this Winter

Capstone Community Action and VSECU (Vermont State Employees Credit Union) have teamed up again this winter to launch Fuel Your Neighbors, an initiative to support emergency food and heating assistance for vulnerable central Vermont households.

Winter is a tough time for thousands of Vermonters. Families often must choose between necessities like food and heat. Children and seniors are the most vulnerable to the high costs of winter, and are the most adversely affected. This year Capstone will work with over 5,000 people to help combat these challenges, putting food on their table and keeping the heat on during the cold winter months.

Capstone Community Action and VSECU are partnering on Fuel Your Neighbors to engage the community in this important need. Last year, in its second year, the campaign raised $91,000, surpassing its first year tally of $67,000. This year Fuel Your Neighbors aims to raise $100,000 over the next 100 days to help prevent Vermonters from going to sleep cold and hungry. The initiative kicks-off on November 27, Giving Tuesday, which is the international philanthropic day of giving.

To inspire others to take part in this effort, VSECU will match up to $10,000 donated to the campaign, magnifying the impact of each donation.

“This is a tremendous opportunity, thanks again to the generosity of VSECU, to bring our community together to meet this pressing need,” said Brian Tagliaferro, development director of Capstone Community Action. “The early arrival of winter has already exposed the vulnerability that many households face. One-in-five central Vermont children don’t have enough food to eat; which impacts their ability to thrive in school. Forty percent (40%) of those we help with emergency heating are seniors whose fixed income can only be stretched so far.

“Vermont winters can be difficult, especially for those who can’t afford to adequately heat their homes. So it’s important to find the bright spots during these long, dark months,” said Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU. “Fuel Your Neighbors is one of those bright spots. We at VSECU are proud to be part of building a community that works together to ensure central Vermonters are warm and well-fed this year.”

Local businesses like National Life Group and The Alchemist are also playing a leading role in this year’s effort.

“Thankfully there’s a resource for anyone in our community struggling with the cold bite of winter: Capstone’s Fuel Your Neighbors program,” states Beth Rusnock, President of the National Life Group Foundation. “Winters in Vermont are long; let’s work together to make sure that they’re manageable for our vulnerable neighbors.”

“We all agree that no one should go without food and fuel,” states Chrissy Flynn, Brewery Representative for The Alchemist. “We feel really lucky to support Capstone so they can help our communities stay strong. Capstone’s mission aligns really well with the values that our owners, Jen and John Kimmich, promote and implement in their own business.”

Learn more about Fuel Your Neighbors at

Capstone Community Action was founded in 1965 and works to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty and to create economic opportunity for people and communities. Capstone’s programs include emergency food, heat and utility assistance, housing counseling and homelessness intervention, savings and credit coaching, micro-business development, home weatherization, and child and family development programs in Early Head Start/Head Start. We serve over 14,000 people through these programs each year.

VSECU is a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody who lives and works in Vermont, offering a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. VSECU is committed to improving the lives of Vermonters by empowering the possibilities for greater social, environmental, and financial prosperity. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit


Contact:  Yvonne Lory, Capstone Community Action
Phone: (802) 479-1053