“Everyone Eats” Grant Awarded to Provide 10,000 Free Meals

HARDWICK – The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) has been working with six Hardwick restaurants to recreate a free Hardwick community dinner each Thursday. In Craftsbury, volunteers have provided weekly “soup suppers” for pick-up made with donated ingredients from the community and in Albany the tradition of a community meal was continued through bi-monthly curbside/take home meals.

Now, these three community initiatives have come together and secured a grant award of $120,000 from Everyone Eats, a project of Southeastern Vermont Community Action, using federal CARES Act funds designed to help respond to COVID-19. These funds will allow all three programs to expand, both to feed more people and to work with more area restaurants and caterers to provide the meals on a weekly basis from now to the end of the year.

Through this project, 10,000 nutritious meals will be provided to residents who have been affected by COVID-19 in the greater Hardwick, Craftsbury, and Albany region of the Northeast Kingdom. It will also support a dozen local restaurants whose businesses have been badly hurt by COVID-19. All meals will include at least 10% ingredients sourced from local farmers and food producers. The project also creates a community of practice by collaborating between local organizations and businesses.

Meals in Hardwick are provided on Thursday. Email meals@hardwickagriculture.org, or call (802) 472-1004 before Tuesday at 9 p.m. for Thursday’s meal. Leave your name, phone number or email. Someone will contact you to confirm and give you a timeframe for pickup.

Meals in Craftsbury are provided on Mondays. To sign up call 586-8022 by Wednesday to reserve a meal.

Meals in Albany are provided on Saturdays. Call 323-1517 or fill out the information form link on the Albany Community Trust homepage: albanycommunitytrust.org.