We at the CAE hope that in this challenging time you are keeping safe, healthy, and caring for one another. The past week has brought about changes to our daily operations, and caused us to adjust how we deliver our services to address the challenges of the day. Our mission to create a vibrant and equitable local food system, which sustains and enriches our rural communities, has never felt more relevant or more needed.
Over the past few weeks, we have shifted to continued operation in a limited capacity with most of our team now working remotely to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and community. Find our List of COVID-19 Resources for Farms and Food Businesses Here
Our Farm to Institution program hours have been halved as a result of school closures, but we continue to provide critical Vermont-grown nutrition to regional hospitals and care institutions, as well as a vital market connection for Vermont farmers facing surpluses and revenue loss.
The Vermont Food Venture Center is running on reduced hours, while still offering an essential production venue for local producers like Vermont Elderberry, whose elderberry syrup has been in high demand.
We are collaborating with our supervisory union and community partners to organize coordinated support to teachers, students and families while schools are closed, and to ensure that those who rely on institutional meals or food pantries maintain access to nutritious, local food.
We have mobilized a rapid response fundraising campaign for emergency, zero-interest loan funds for local farmers and producers through the Vermont Farm Fund.
And finally, CAE Farm Connex delivery service is more critical than ever, keeping local grocery and co-op shelves stocked with essential, locally-grown items in a time when regional distributors struggle to keep up with demand.
There are many ways for you to support those who are who are most in need. Purchasing gift certificates from local businesses, donating cash to food shelves, and responsible social distancing are key levers to navigating the health and economic crises caused by COVID-19.
Please contact us if you have questions or need assistance, we might be able to help. CAE has a broad network of partners and relationships with many communities. We are innovating the best ways to deploying our services where needed, and are eager to continue building a resilient, healthy, just, and thriving local food system.
Please consider a gift to CAE today, which will be deployed precisely where our community can most use support as we identify emergent needs with our community partners and stakeholders.