Everyone Eats! is a program that leverages state funds to buy and distribute to-go meals from local restaurants. Anyone who has been negatively impacted by COVID is welcome to receive a meal; there are no advance sign-ups or other requirements.
From August -December 2020, our Brattleboro hub distributed 80,387 meals. We did this by partnering with 20 organizations and working with 85 volunteers. There are three pillars of this program: feeding our community, saving our restaurants and supporting our local farmers and food producers.
Community: When we last surveyed participants, 50% of our eaters were community members who were accessing food assistance for the first time. The majority were accessing Everyone Eats 2-3 times a week.
Restaurants: are reporting anywhere between 12%-80% of their sales as coming from Everyone Eats. That is an average for our partner restaurants of 37% of their sales from Everyone Eats. These are restaurants that are down an average of 40% for the year.
Farmers & Food Producers: $41,818.54 was spent on local ingredients purchased by participating Brattleboro-area restaurants in 2020.
A new benefit of Everyone Eats! has also been identified: supporting our mental health. Everyone Eats! has become a way of being together in community during COVID by being together safely at the distribution sites, connecting with food by eating, volunteering to help distribute meals, picking up meals for neighbors, or preparing meals for the eaters. Our site has also become a community town square: a spot where the census was able to be filled out, information handed out, or quick conversations had while waiting in line.