BRATTLEBORO — Thanks to a combination of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Vermont, the short hiatus for Everyone Eats! Brattleboro (EE!B) is over and EE!B will resume operations on Monday.
For Brattleboro area eaters, the program is going to feel very similar. Starting on January 18, meal distributions will continue to be at 80 Flat St., from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The program is open to everyone negatively affected by the pandemic. There is no registration or any paperwork required to participate; just come by car or on foot to the distribution site to receive meals for your family, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options. Partner organizations will also continue to reserve meals that they deliver directly to their clients.
Restaurants and EE!B are working together to increase the variety and consistency of meals served. The program will be welcoming new restaurants, such as Whetstone Brewery, Four Columns, and the Putney Food Co-op. Additionally, the program has expanded, and residents of Marlboro and the West River Valley are now also eligible to participate — that’s in addition to the five towns already participating in the EE!B hub: Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney and Vernon.
Everyone Eats purchases to-go meals from local restaurants to feed people in the community, thereby supporting the local economy. The meals are provided for those in need who have been negatively impacted by COVID whether it is food insecurity or those looking for the nourishment of prepared meals because of the current crisis.
Organizers say the first phase of the program — August to December 2020 — brought a much-needed injection of relief funding to the local economy and greatly increased the region’s ability to support the community. Over the course of 22 weeks, a total of 80,387 meals were distributed to community members. Everyone Eats accounted for an average of 37 percent of participating restaurants’ sales, and $41,818.54 worth of Vermont products and produce were purchased as ingredients for meals.
“As we continue to live with this health pandemic and economic crisis, we know the need is great,” says Stephanie Bonin, EE!B Program Director. “We’re grateful to be able to resume operations so quickly and continue to support our restaurants, farmers, and community.”
For more information about EE!B, to donate or to volunteer, visit its website (brattleboro.com/everyoneeats) or try it out for yourself by visiting 80 Flat St. from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
EE!B is a project of Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE), a statewide program funded by FEMA and the State of Vermont made possible through a grant provided Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA). The Brattleboro coalition consists of representatives from the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, Vermont Foodbank, Foodworks, Food Connects, The Putney Foodshelf, Putney Mutual Aid, and the Agency of Human Services for the state of Vermont.