THE SHIRES — Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), the innovative 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.
The program is operated by 11 community hubs throughout the state, including a statewide online digital app. The Collaborative, Shires Housing, and the Alliance for Community Transformations are partners in the regional hub serving Bennington County. Roughly 43,000 meals have been distributed to Bennington County residents since November 2020.
Everyone Eats — The Shires currently provides over 600 free meals per week through the Community Food Cupboard in Manchester and Shires Housing in Bennington. Collaborations with community organizations and volunteers help to deliver meals to those without access to reliable transportation. Meals are provided by restaurant partners: Bringing You Vermont, Cold Cow Creamery, Nippers Cafe, Moonwink, New Morning Natural Foods and Juicery, Sam’s Wood Fired Pizza Co., The Avocado Pit, and The Works Café.
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 learn more about Everyone Eats — The Shires and for weekly meal distribution information, visit www.facebook.com/everyoneeatstheshires.
For more information about Vermont Everyone Eats visit www.vteveryone eats.org or explore community posts at #vteveryone eats.