Vermont Everyone Eats ends on March 31
Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE) will end on March 31, 2023. You can read the full press release from SEVCA, the statewide VEE lead organization, below.
It is tricky to hold the complexity of knowing this ending would come while also feeling so grateful for what this unique program has brought to our state.
VEE was funded by FEMA as part of Vermont's COVID-19 emergency feeding plan. How it works: community hubs partnered with restaurants to order prepared meals, at $10 each, for partner organizations or groups to share with community members in need. No applications, no income eligibility, and all focused on lifting up anyone who might benefit, one meal at a time. It has helped restaurants, farmers, and community members through the acute economic challenges of the COVID pandemic. Statewide, community hubs have shared almost 3.4 million meals since September 2020, directly resulting in $34 million in local economic revenue.
Capstone Community Action has partnered with Shift Meals (by Skinny Pancake) since the start to be the Central Vermont hub of VEE. We have served almost 398,000 meals in Washington, Lamoille, and Orange counties with the invaluable support of almost 45 community partners and 14 restaurants over the span of the program. This network of partnership has been undeniably strengthened during this time, and will continue with active collaboration in ways yet to be determined.
VEE has shown that, with federal support, Vermont can provide nourishing meals with dignity, while also supporting local economies and small businesses. The pandemic revealed that prepared meals are a vital part of addressing food security in our state. Barriers like transportation, time, money, and access to kitchens are real and pervasive, often keeping folks from accessing nutritious food.
“It’s [VEE is] ending, but hunger is not ending,” said Sue Minter, executive director of Capstone Community Action*. “In fact, it’s worse in that the conditions of our pandemic economy aren’t over…the gap is wider than it’s been. Our job is certainly not done with the end of this program; it’s going to get a lot more important, the work we do.”
In short, hunger is always an emergency, and restaurants and farmers face ongoing business challenges in our current economy. Capstone Community Action remains deeply committed to our community and collaborations to ensure food access for all.
Would you or a friend benefit from support? Learn more by visiting our Food Access page or calling us at 802-639-1053 today.
Read the full press release from SEVCA here: VEE Press Release
* Press Links:
Rutland Herald, 1/24/2023: Vermont Everyone Eats set to end March 31
Times Argus, 1/24/2023: Vermont Everyone Eats set to end March 31
Vermont Public, 1/24/2023: Everyone Eats Program that provided Vermonters with to-go meals will end this spring