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Vermont Everyone Eats program will end on March 31, after distributing 3.5 million meals

By Taylor Slonaker,

The organizers of Vermont Everyone Eats said the program raised awareness about food insecurity and the need for long-term solutions. Photo courtesy of Vermont Everyone Eats

The federally funded Vermont Everyone Eats program, which has distributed about 3.5 million meals throughout the state, will end on March 31.

Everyone Eats has provided free restaurant meals to food-insecure individuals while supplying restaurants with a steady stream of income during the pandemic.

The program began in August 2020, and state officials say it generated more than $34 million in revenue for restaurants and $3.5 million for Vermont farmers and food producers. The program focused on using ingredients from Vermont farmers and food producers. It set a goal of using at least 10% local ingredients, but wound up averaging 35%.

“This emergency program played a key role in providing meals to households while providing stable income for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and food producers during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Josh Hanford, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, in a press release. “As this federally funded emergency COVID-19 response tool winds down, the hard work of developing sustainable solutions to end food insecurity in Vermont will continue.”

Organizers say Everyone Eats raised awareness about the current state of food insecurity in Vermont and shed light on the need for long-term solutions.

“We have learned that there are some gaps that are not met by existing programs,” said Amanda Witman, the Everyone Eats communications and stakeholder engagement coordinator. “And that is not the fault of the existing programs.”

The program will continue to distribute meals until March 31. It’s averaging about 25,000 meals a week.

Read the story on VTDigger here: Vermont Everyone Eats program will end on March 31, after distributing 3.5 million meals .

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