Upper Valley Everyone Eats
Between September 8 and December 18, approximately 2,500 meals from local restaurants will be available weekly across the Upper Valley’s Vermont community meal programs and food pantries. These nutritionally balanced meals, made in part with ingredients from local farms and food businesses, are being offered through a new Vermont state program which pays hard-hit Vermont restaurants $10 per meal to create nutritious meals (with 10% local ingredients) for Vermont residents in need of food assistance at this difficult time.
Step One: Restaurants buy at least 10% of their ingredients from local farms and local food businesses.
Step Two: Restaurants make nutritious meals and package them to serve fresh or frozen
Step Two: The meals are delivered to the Haven and LISTEN Community Services, and many travel further to small food pantries, community meal sites, hotels, schools, and other places.
Step Three: Community members in need of food assistance eat the delicious meals
Step Four: Restaurants are paid $10 per meal
These steps happen almost every day of the week until December 14, 2020!
Vital Communities is the Upper Valley Community Hub for Vermont Everyone Eats. We are collaborating with the Haven, LISTEN Community Services, participating restaurants, and other partners who are producing food, preparing meals, and distributing them to the community.
Contact us at UVEE@vitalcommunities.org. We welcome restaurants, farms, and community meal sites who wish to join the project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Upper Valley Everyone Eats meals being served?
We will be adding community meal sites as the program continues. As of September 9, the following sites will be receiving restaurant meals and distributing them to patrons:
- LISTEN Community Services, Hartford
- Several hotels in Hartford
- Haven, Hartford
- The Family Place, Norwich
- The Growing Peace Project, Bradford
- Hartland Food Shelf, Hartland
- South Royalton Food Shelf
- Sharing & Caring Food Pantry, Hartford
- West Fairlee Food Pantry, West Fairlee
- Hartford High School, Hartford
- Thetford Food Shelf, Thetford
- Thetford Seniors, Thetford
- Thompson Senior Center, Woodstock
We encourage additional Vermont community food sites to contact us to join the project and share locally produced meals with their patrons.
Can more restaurants join the project? (YES!)
We encourage Vermont restaurants interested in joining the project to email us right away. The Vermont Everyone Eats funding is intended to help Vermont restaurants impacted by COVID-19, so we want to involve as many restaurants as we can. Here are some starting basics of how the program works for restaurants:
- For this program “restaurants” can be brick and mortar, food trucks/carts, caterers, or any other food service provider that pays Vermont Meals Tax, but the meals will not be taxed.
- Upper Valley Everyone Eats pays $10 per meal, and restaurants do not pay meals tax on those meals. At least 10% of the meal ingredients, by value, must be sourced from Vermont farms and food businesses. Restaurants cover all costs of meal preparation, packaging, staffing, etc.
- Meals must be based on the MyPlate guidelines, be around 500-600 calories.
Please reach out!
How is Upper Valley Everyone Eats funded?
Upper Valley Everyone Eats is a project of Vermont Everyone Eats. Vermont Everyone Eats is funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and made possible through a grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA).
Why is the program only for Vermont restaurants, farms, and community food sites?
Upper Valley Everyone Eats is a project of Vermont Everyone Eats. Vermont Everyone Eats is funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and made possible through a grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA). The funding was allocated by the Vermont legislature. The program supports Vermont restaurants, Vermont food producers, and Vermont community meal sites.
However, Vermont statue defines ‘local farms’ as farms in Vermont or within 30 miles of the borders. Meals are distributed at Vermont locations, but there is no eligibility requirement and any person can receive a meal, no matter where they reside
How can I help this great program?
Thank you for asking! We are excited about it, too. As of this writing, we are just getting the project up and running so we are not sure. But we do have some ideas! Meal sites may need volunteers to distribute food. We may raise additional funds to continue or expand the program. If you are interested in helping in any way, email uvee[at]vitalcommunities.org and we will keep in touch!
What are other ways I can get food assistance?
There are many places and ways to get food assistance, whether you live in New Hampshire or Vermont.
Click here to see Upper Valley Strong’s list of food access programs and sites across the region.
Call 211. This hotline is staffed by knowledgable people who will help you find the food resources that fit your circumstances. The number will work in both New Hampshire and Vermont.
I don't live in Vermont, but I get meals at LISTEN (or other site), will I be able to get these meals?
Yes! If you were already eligible for meals at the community meal site, you will be able to receive these UVEE meals as well. In some cases, not everyone is eligible to receive meals at a site- for example, a site may only feed high school students.
“It’s so amazing to know that there is such a wonderful support network here in the UV to help farmers get on track and stay on track.”
“I cannot overstate how much their programs have contributed to our success. Before purchasing our farm I participated in Vital Communities’ learning collaborative and attended one of their farmer meet-ups. I learned a lot of different techniques and was exposed to many ideas as I visited area farms and learned directly from the farmers and their employees. This also helped me build up a strong network with other local farmers, both new and experienced. I continue to use the connections I made at those events whenever I encounter a problem.
Those connections also allowed me to expand sales. I began selling my pork through another local farm and that is now my second biggest sales outlet for pork.”
Funding for our new farmer advising is made possible in part with a Rural Development Enterprise Grant from USDA Rural Development.
Find Open Local Businesses and Farms. Search the Vital Communities Guide.
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