Vermont Everyone Eats to Continue Through April 1

by Meghan Wayland

HARDWICK – Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), the COVID-19 response program that provides meal assistance to Vermonters while supporting local restaurants, farmers, and food producers, has received an extension to continue through April 1.

Free takeout meals and meals ordered through the Localvore application will continue throughout the Northeast Kingdom in towns like Albany, Barton, Craftsbury, Derby, Hardwick, Lyndonville, Newport, and St. Johnsbury. The Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, in collaboration with Albany and Craftsbury Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiatives and food pantries, has worked with over 30 local restaurants, caterers, and farmers, to distribute nearly 50,000 meals since the start of the pandemic.

Everyone Eats was inspired by grassroots initiatives from communities across Vermont.

Originally designed as a five-month program, VEE has been extended multiple times to mitigate high levels of food insecurity and economic instability exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In July 2020, Vermont lawmakers allocated funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to launch Vermont Everyone Eats and the program was subsequently extended with FEMA funding. Vermont Everyone Eats is operated through a network of community hubs located throughout the state. Since the start of Vermont Everyone Eats, 14 community hubs have worked with 260 restaurants sourcing ingredients from over 300 farmers to distribute over 1.9 million meals to Vermonters all over the state.

To enroll in Everyone Eats in the southern NEK, contact Meghan Wayland by calling 802-624-0406 or emailing meals@hardwickagriculture.org. For more information about Vermont Everyone Eats visit vteveryoneeats.org or explore community social media posts at #vteveryoneeats.

[Meghan Wayland is food sovereignty organizer for the Center for an Agricultural Economy.]