Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), the COVID-19 recovery program that provides Vermonters impacted by the pandemic with restaurant-made meals, will continue through July 1. The program had previously been slated to end on March 31, but will now continue due to the extension of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 100 percent cost share for existing COVID-19 relief programs. Since the start of the pandemic, over 50,000 meals have been distributed in Barton, Orleans, Glover, Greensboro, Albany, Craftsbury, Hardwick, and surrounding towns. Since August 2020, VEE has provided over 2.25 million meals statewide, entirely paid for with nearly $30 million of Federal CARES Act and FEMA funding. “More than 260 Vermont restaurants have participated,” stated food sovereignty coordinator Meghan Wayland. “Over 37 percent of meal ingredients have come from nearly 300 farms and food producers thanks to a local purchasing requirement that spreads the economic benefit through communities. Local purchasing has far exceeded requirements and is considered among the major successes of this program.” While the health impact of the latest surge has recently receded, “the long tail of the economic crisis continues to challenge restaurants, farmers, food producers, and individuals,” Wayland said. “Everyone Eats feeds people and strengthens the state economy at the same time. For information on the program or how to receive a meal, contact your local hub by emailing: email@example.com, or call (802) 472-1004.
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