Vermont Everyone Eats Funding Extended Through July 1

23 March 2022

Innovative program providing restaurant meals to local eaters continues

For Immediate Release

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

ylory@capstonevt.org

 

 

Vermont Everyone Eats Funding Extended Through July 1
 

Innovative program providing restaurant meals to local eaters continues

 

(Barre, VT) Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), the unique COVID-19 recovery program that provides Vermonters impacted by COVID with prepared meals made by Vermont restaurants using locally grown and produced ingredients, will continue through July 1, 2022. The program had previously been slated to end on March 31, but will now continue due to FEMA’s 100% cost share being extended for existing COVID-19 relief programs.

 

The Central Vermont Hub, a partnership between Capstone Community Action and ShiftMeals, has worked with 49 community partners and 13 different restaurants to provide an average of 2750 meals per week via local distributions and home visitor deliveries in Washington, Lamoille, and Orange counties.

 

While the health impact of the latest surge has recently receded, the long tail of the economic crisis continues to challenge restaurants, farmers, food producers, and individuals. The Vermont Everyone Eats program both feeds people and strengthens the state economy at the same time. Regional hubs purchase and distribute meals from local restaurants, and a statewide mobile app provides meal access to eaters directly from restaurants.

 

Montpelier resident Deb McCormick, a volunteer with the Soup Kitchen at St. Augustine Church, which distributes hot VEE meals every Friday, notes "with the rising cost of goods, even folks who have food stamps are having a hard time making ends meet these days. Some people have no transportation, limited safe shelter, or simply get a social boost from being around other people, no matter how brief. Additionally, our location is not able to restart congregate meals so VEE helps us continue to serve our community. We love these meals and it's such a blessing to have them."

 

Since August 2020, Vermont Everyone Eats has provided over 2.25 million meals statewide, entirely paid for with nearly $30 million of Federal CARES Act and FEMA funding. More than 260 Vermont restaurants have participated. Over 37% of VEE meal ingredients from nearly 300 VT farms and food producers have been used by restaurants as part of a local purchasing requirement that spreads the economic benefit as widely as possible. Local purchasing has far exceeded requirements and is considered a major success in this program.

 

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA), as VEE administrator, convenes a regional hub community of practice and a statewide task force of multi-sector leadership in order to guide the program. Locally governed hubs determine needs and resources in their region and connect directly with restaurants and eaters. Task force participants bring extensive experience with food insecurity programs, government agencies, economic development entities, and restaurant engagement. The effectiveness of the program’s cross-sector, whole systems approach may lead to long-term changes in federally-funded food access programs.

 

For more information on the program or how to receive a meal, contact your local hub at https://shiftmeals.org/everyone-eats/ or visit the Vermont Everyone Eats website at https://vteveryoneeats.org/.

 

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Vermont Everyone Eats provides nutritious meals to Vermonters in need of food assistance as well as a stabilizing source of income for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and food producers. Vermont Everyone Eats is funded through a contract provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) and is advised by a Statewide Task Force including perspectives from restaurant, economic development, and hunger relief advocates. The program is operated by 11 community hubs throughout the state and through a statewide online digital app.

Capstone Community Action was founded in 1965 and works to overcome poverty by serving people in crisis and creating economic opportunity for people and communities. Capstone’s programs include emergency food, heat assistance, housing counseling and homelessness intervention, savings and credit coaching, business counseling, workforce development, home weatherization, transportation access, and child and family development programs in Early Head Start/Head Start. We serve nearly 13,000 people through these programs each year. www.capstonevt.org.

 

Our Locations

Washington County

20 Gable Place, Barre, VT 05641
1-800-639-1053 or (802) 479-1053

Lamoille County

250 Industrial Park, Morristown, VT 05661 1-800-639-8710 or
(802) 888-7993

Orange County East

22 Whistle Stop Way, Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5419

Orange County West

PO Box 284, 12 Prince Street, Randolph, VT 05060
1-800-846-9506 or (802) 728-9506


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