Behind the Scenes: The Restaurants Behind Everyone Eats!
The impact of Covid-19 can be felt in ripples and waves throughout all aspects of life. Here at CAE, we focused on how to keep the parts of the food system going, this led us to many questions. How do we help make sure people are fed? How do we keep workers in the food system safe? How do we ensure Farmers are supported and the community can access their food? How do we keep restaurants open and people employed?
One of our goals early in the pandemic was to adapt the Hardwick Community Supper, previously a weekly in-person dinner at the Hardwick United Church, to a safe curbside model. We recruited restaurants to prepare meals for $10 each, and volunteers to help manage reservations. In the second half of the year this grew into the statewide Vermont Everyone Eats program, with 14 community hubs organizing meal sites across Vermont.
On Thursday, April 29, Vermont Everyone Eats served its 1 millionth meal! CWE has been honored to manage six different sites who coordinate and distribute meals. With the help of community partners, supporters, and meal recipients, we've been able to serve 27,600 plates of nourishing meals while supporting local restaurants and their workers and purchasing from local farms.
Below are some of the stories from our participating restaurants.
Front Seat Coffee owner Tobin Porter has been among the stand-outs of Everyone Eats in the Hardwick area. The restaurant typically uses over 60% local ingredients in meals — and that hasn't gone unnoticed by participants. Meal goers routinely talk about just how good, healthy, and creative the meals are. Thank you to the frontline workers at Front Seat for their part in serving one million community meals!
"The meals from Parker Pie have been so generous, so creative, and so thoughtful," said Sheila Vogel, a volunteer who delivers Everyone Eats meals to an elderly neighbor. "It's been a wonderful, wonderful program and they've done such a fantastic job." Pictured from left to right are a few of the frontline workers who've made one million meals statewide since the start of the pandemic: bartender, Taylor Altman; co-owner and kitchen manager, Sterling Trail; bartender, Maggie Jean McPartlen; and line cook, Riley Booth.
Rui Pougnier is assistant manager of the cafe at the Buffalo Mountain Coop. She and cafe manager Jessie Ziegler make over 100 meals every other week for Everyone Eats. Among EE's partnering restaurants, they're known for holding down fresh, veggie-heavy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meal options. Thank you to Rui, Jessie, and the rest of the cafe team at Buffalo Mountain for their part in one million community meals!