A Vermont program started during the pandemic that distributes free restaurant-made meals for people in need and directs revenues to local restaurants has been extended for the rest of the year.
Vermont Everyone Eats operates statewide, with the goal of addressing people’s food needs and supporting local eateries and farms. Restaurants are expected to get many ingredients, such as produce, locally.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is covering the meals $10 at a time, NECN reported.
“Hunger is an emergency and a crisis every single day someone is experiencing it,” Jean Hamilton, the program’s statewide coordinator, told the news outlet.
She expects recipients’ food needs to increase as their home heating bills start coming in and said restaurants have also been challenged.
“A lot of restaurants had a very challenging summer and made significantly less money than they needed to to survive this winter,” Hamilton said. “So we’re really happy to be able to support both the restaurants and the folks that are seeking support from the meals. And then, of course, also the local farms that are helping make those meals local and farm-fresh.”
In Windham County, 16 local organizations providing the meals work with one central hub, serving eight towns in the county. Twenty-seven restaurants have participated.
Vermont reported 287 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic started to more than 34,920 cases.
The state Health Department reported 35 people were hospitalized, with eight in intensive care. One death was reported, bringing the total number of deaths from COVID-19 to 328.
The largest numbers of new cases were in Chittenden, Orleans and Washington counties, which each reported 48 new cases.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 213.57 new cases per day on Sept. 21 to 170.57 new cases per day on Oct. 5.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 1.29 deaths per day on Sept. 21 to 1.43 deaths per day on Oct. 5.
The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.