During this stressful period the Covid-19 pandemic has created, local heroes and impactful programs have worked to uplift community spirit and feed the minds and bodies of all Vermonters. One initiative, Everyone Eats, has risen to the occasion and helped families and organizations across the entire Green Mountain state.
Through a grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the mission of Everyone Eats focuses on providing “nutritious meals to Vermonters in need of food assistance as well as a stabilizing source of income for restaurants, farmers, and food producers.” At least 10 percent of the ingredients for the meals use Vermont products.
Morgan Evarts, Recruiter and Workforce-Builder at Wake Robin, explained how Vermont’s Life Plan community became involved with the project. “When Everyone Eats approached us, they explained that this is a free meal for anyone affected by COVID-19. They asked us ‘do you wear a mask every day? If so, you deserve a meal.’ Our staff have worked so hard at not only continuing to come to work during the pandemic, but always having safety protocols on top of mind in their professional and social life. This is the only way to keep the residents and their co-workers safe and they are doing an amazing job!”
Through Wake Robin’s partnership with Working Bridges of United Way Northwest Vermont, the Human Resources team was able to coordinate a six week schedule in which staff could pick up local, fresh ingredient meals right in the Community Center. And as much as the program benefits staff and their families – they can pick up dinners for their household members too – each meal delivered ensures $10 goes to the food provider.
Managed by the Southeastern Vermont Community Action Agency, Everyone Eats has been a roaring success thus far. According to this ShiftMeals.org blog, more than 100 restaurants have participated and distributed meals to 130 distribution sites. The first pick up for Wake Robin occurred in the middle of November and featured homemade soups from Joe’s Kitchen at Screamin’ Ridge Farms. Evarts summed up why Everyone Eats has been a perfect fit for Wake Robin. “If we can give staff one less night to worry about making dinner, and a chance to relax with their loved ones…well, that is completely worth it!”
To learn more about the Everyone Eats program, please visit https://shiftmeals.org/everyone-eats/