Vermonters of the Month: Lawyers Fighting Hunger

This is a monthly series in which the Attorney General will feature a Vermonter doing exemplary work in their community. Have someone you think should be featured? Email

Fighting Hunger One Lawyer at a Time

For our September Vermonter of the Month, we are honoring all of those who donated to this year’s 3rd Annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive. This collaboration with the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Bar Association raised over $8,000 and more than 4,400 shelf-stable, non-perishable food items in just two weeks. Overall, in the three-year history of the Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive, the Vermont legal community has raised more than $35,000 and collected over 11,000 food items. Thank you to all the Vermont lawyers and law office staff who made this year’s drive a success.

A recent study by the Vermont Foodbank and Feeding America shows that one in four Vermonters (around 153,000 people) turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families.  These numbers include an estimated 33,900 children and 26,010 seniors. All food and funds collected during this year’s food drive went directly to the Vermont Foodbank and over 200 Vermont Foodbank-partner food shelves and meal sites around Vermont.

Thank you to all the Vermont lawyers and law office staff who made this year’s drive a success.

Bauer Gravel Farnham, LLP

Bergeron, Paradis & Fitzpatrick, LLP

Biggam Fox Skinner, LLP

Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices

Cohen Consumer Law

Dinse, PC

Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

Justice for Victims Legal Clinic

Maley and Maley, PLLC

McNeil, Leddy & Sheahan PC

Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Paul Frank + Collins P.C.

Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC

Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C.

Stitzel Page & Fletcher P.C.

Vermont Bar Association

Vermont Department of Financial Regulation

Vermont Law School

Vermont Legal Aid, Inc. – Rutland Office

Vermont Public Utility Commission

Vermont Trial Lawyers Association

Chief Rob McDougall, Environmental Division, and Nicole Whalen of the Vermont Foodbank present Lawyers Fighting Hunger “friendly competition” award to Attorney Ben Traverse of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, winner of the large firm division.
Members of the Attorney General’s Office with food drive donations.
Rob McDougall, Chief of the Environmental Division, presents Lawyers Fighting Hunger "friendly competition" award to representatives of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, winner of the large firm division.
Chief Rob McDougall, Environmental Division, and Assistant Attorney General Alison Stone present Lawyers Fighting Hunger “friendly competition” award to Attorney Elizabeth Schilling of the Vermont Public Utility Commission, winner of the medium firm division.

Medical Cancer Swab Screening Scam

Consumers have reported receiving calls or online solicitations for free medical cancer screening kits in exchange for Medicare information. While cheek swabs are used in common screenings for illnesses and genetics, unprompted and unsolicited calls or online advertisements for free cancer screening kits are a scam.

Phone. Often this scam begins with a phone call, letting consumers know that their doctor has referred them for a free cancer screening kit. The caller then asks for Medicare information, claiming their insurance will cover the kit. The cancer screening kit does normally arrive at the home of the consumer but it typically does not go to a cancer screening facility, or if it does, consumers are required to pay out of pocket.

Internet. This scam can also originate as an online advertisement. The advertisement will state consumers can receive a free cancer screening kit. Clicking on the advertisement will bring consumers to a separate page to provide contact information as well as insurance and Medicare accounts.

Medical swab and screening scams poster

Signs to spot a cancer screening scam:

  1. An unsolicited phone call or internet advertisement stating qualifications have been met for a free cancer screening kit.
  2. The products claim Medicare or other insurance providers will cover the cost.
  3. Often described as free in exchange for Medicare information
  4. The seller claims a doctor has approved a referral for the cancer screening kit.
  5. Personal identifiable information (Medicare information, Social Security Number, Date of Birth) is requested.

Never provide personal information over the phone or online if you’re unsure where this information is going or you were contacted without request. If you receive a cancer screening device without requesting one or provided your Medicare information to an unknown scammer, call Medicare right away to report fraud at 1-800-MEDICARE.

If you or anyone you know has engaged with a scam, please contact the Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424.

Contributing Editor:  Alexandra Esposito
Content Editor:  Crystal Baldwin

Sources: AARP
OIG Department of Health and Human Services