Innovative program offering restaurant meals to local consumers continues

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), the unique COVID-19 recovery program that provides Vermonters impacted by COVID with prepared meals prepared by Vermont restaurants using locally grown and produced ingredients, will continue through July 1, 2022. The program was previously scheduled to end on March 31, but will now continue due to the extension of FEMA’s 100% cost sharing for existing COVID-19 relief programs.

While the health impact of the last wave has recently faded, the long tail of the economic crisis continues to challenge restaurants, farmers, food producers and individuals. the Vermont everyone eats program feeds people and strengthens the state’s economy at the same time. Regional hubs purchase and distribute meals from local restaurants, and a statewide mobile app allows consumers to access meals directly from restaurants.

Since August 2020, Vermont everyone eats provided more than 2.25 million meals statewide, fully paid for with nearly $30 million in federal CARES Act and FEMA funding. More than 260 Vermont restaurants participated. More than 37% of EEV Meal ingredients from nearly 300 Vermont farms and food producers have been used by restaurants as part of a buy local requirement that spreads the economic benefits as widely as possible. Buying local far exceeded requirements and is considered a major success in this program.

Southeast Vermont Community Action (SEVCA), as Vermont everyone eats administrator, convenes a regional community of practice and a statewide multi-sectoral leadership task force to guide the program. Locally governed hubs determine needs and resources in their area 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 systems approach can lead to long-term changes in federally funded food access programs.

For more information on the program or how to receive a meal, visit the Vermont everyone eats website at https://vteveryoneeats.org/.

Vermont Everyone Eats provides nutritious meals to Vermonters in need of food assistance as well as a stabilizing source of revenue 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 restaurants, development economy and advocates for the fight against hunger.

18.03.2022. Westminster, Vermont. Vermont everyone eats