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Here's the best thing I've seen so far; I can't take credit for creating it (I wish I could), but I can't. Here it is: "Why is it that the same people that are screaming 'All Lives Matter' are doing it without masks like no lives matter?" What exactly in the science-denying hell is going on here with the "I will not comply" sector of people? Once again, I understand, it's super inconvenient and there are only two ways to get rid of the Trump Virus: wear a mask and vote on Nov. 3 (and if you do go to the polls, wear a mask).

I just needed to get that off my chest, so thank you for indulging. But what I really want to talk about is this: our local economy and how things are going. It's super strange out there, can't really get anything lined up. Some things feel like we are rebounding, but it's kind of a carnival ride rebound; the initial swing is over but now we have to swing back. I have no idea what is going to happen and, frankly, everyone is flat out just doing their absolute best to move things forward. Let's take restaurants: first, I would like to encourage you (if you can fit it in your budget) to purchase a meal from a local restaurant. Because they've really been given a challenge: they have to pretty much fully staff while only being able to open up 30 to 50 percent of their establishment.

So, when this program came around, Everyone Eats, it was truly a great way to help fill a gap. It's a program that came about from the CARES Act. And the Brattleboro area is the first to roll this out; if successful it will be rolled out for the rest of the state (at least on this scale). Here's the "meat" of it (pardon the pun): Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, residents of Brattleboro, Putney, Guilford, Vernon and Dummerston who have been impacted by COVID-19 will be able to go to 80 Flat Street (CF Church Building) and pick up a pre-made meal. These meals will be cooked by independently owned restaurants (A Vermont Table, Dosa Kitchen, Duo, Hazel, Indian Masala, MamaSezz, Porch Too, The Works and Yalla) and available for pick up between 4 and 6 p.m. on the days mentioned above. They'll be there tonight! Best part, all of those meals will be paid for by federal funds to the restaurants. It's without a doubt the biggest win, win. It helps two sectors that need it the most.

The program will run for the entire month of August. It is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you need to take advantage, please arrive a little early. If you want meat, they have it. If you're a vegetarian, they can accommodate you. If you're like me, a plant-based whole food guy (or gal), you're still good to go. And finally, if you're part of gluten free nation, you'll have a meal, too. It's called Everyone Eats for a reason.

Even though this program is federally funded, you can still pitch in. If you are in a financial position to do so I would recommend reaching out to Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com and learning the many different ways that you can assist. You can also drop off extra produce at the same time as the pickups. The restaurants will use that produce to make extra meals.

This is a community effort to pull out of a rough situation. We need to spend our money locally on local businesses as much as we can. This program is doing just that. We're our own economy; if we band together, we can return to some level of normal. But we've all got to do it when we can. This program will light the way for it; all you have to do is follow that light. Shop local, eat local and support local. These are the things we need to do right now. Oh and wear a mask!

Peter "Fish" Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.


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