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As Americans go hungry, an innovative free-meal program is running out of money and time

CBS News |Aimee Picchi

Programs like Vermont Everyone Eats were launched through $150 billion in CARES Act money earmarked for state and local governments — aid that has helped pay for everything from addressing food insecurity to helping rural hospitals cope with a flood of COVID-19 cases. But the survival of Vermont Everyone Eats, as well as hundreds of other state programs that sprang up in the crisis’ wake, is at stake as congressional leaders negotiate another round of stimulus for individuals and businesses.”

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VT FOOD ADVOCACY - Vermont Everyone Eats

Edible Vermont | Maria Buteux Reade

“Resilient communities throughout the state have come together to provide food to those in need, using available resources from restaurant entrepreneurs and local farms and producers. Benjy Adler’s ShiftMeals sparked a grassroots solution that ultimately secured $5 million in government funds and created Vermont Everyone Eats. Benjy Adler, entrepreneur and founder of The Skinny Pancake, conceived an initiative as the pandemic took hold. His vision: solve several problems simultaneously. Put restaurant employees to work, feed those in need, and support local farms and producers.”

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Vermont program looks to boost restaurants while getting meals to those in need

Valley News | Nora Doyle-Burr  

“ShiftMeals now is being used as a model for a statewide project called Everyone Eats! The Vermont Legislature allocated $5 million of federal CARES Act money to the program and a task force is now at work to determine how to best get the money to restaurants so they can get meals to people in need, generate some business and purchase food from local growers.”

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Newport’s Bluffside Farm To Increase Food Production, Food Access In Northeast Kingdom

Caledonian Record

“The Vermont Land Trust, in partnership with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) and ShiftMeals, a program that provides healthy food to people affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, are working together to ensure that an acre of land at Bluffside Farm in Newport will increase food production and food access in the Northeast Kingdom.”

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State Allocates Millions for Hunger Relief Program Operated by Restaurants

Seven Days | Sally Pollak 

“Now ShiftMeals is serving as a model for a statewide initiative, backed by $5 million in government funding, in which restaurants around the state will use their facilities and employees to help feed Vermonters who are experiencing food insecurity. The new program, called Everyone Eats, was announced Monday…”

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Northeast Kingdom Farm To Grow Additional Food For Anyone In Need

Vermont Land Trust

Like many organizations, COVID-19 threw us a curve-ball,” said Tracy Zschau, vice president for land conservation at the Vermont Land Trust. “Rather than let the land at Bluffside Farm sit fallow, we put our heads together with VYCC and ShiftMeals to grow a more limited selection of crops and open up part of the farm for a new community garden.

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Dave Matthews, Grace Potter & More Aboard For ‘Hug Your Farmer’ Livestream Benefit

Jam Base | Scott Bernstein

Dave MatthewsGrace Potter and Martin Sexton are among the artists taking part in Hug Your Farmer, a music benefit livestream that starts on Thursday, June 25 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT via All donations received from the livestream will benefit ShiftMeals. 

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Virtual concert befitting Vermont meals program

NBC 5 |Ross Ketschke

Hug Your Farmer will go live Thursday, June 25, at 9 p.m. to raise money for ShiftMeals, an organization working to connect farmers and restaurants to provide meals to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New Skinny Pancake project hires help for Vermont farms

NBC 5 | Jackie Pascale

Since its launch in March, the ShiftMeals program has has produced more than 21,000 meals for distribution through participating restaurants, community centers and Vermont Foodbank partners. Now, it’s expanding to include a new job opportunity for those recently unemployed.

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A patchwork of food programs works to keep Vermonters nourished

VT Digger |Elizabeth Gribkoff

At the end of March, Burlington-based Skinny Pancake and partners launched an effort, ShiftMeals, to cook free meals for recently laid-off restaurant workers, artists, musicians and others. 

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Skinny Pancake's ShiftMeals Launches Farm Program

Seven Days | Sally Pollack

ShiftMeals, the hunger-relief  initiative started by Skinny Pancake restaurants to provide free meals to unemployed restaurant workers, musicians, gig workers and others, is establishing an agricultural component, the organization announced this week.

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Skinny Pancake partners with Vermont Foodbank to meet higher demand

NBC 5 | Jackie Pascale

When The Skinny Pancake shut down all of its restaurants, management faced the decision of furloughing all of its locations’ employees. Instead, they realized their food production staff could be put to work to continue serving food to the community.

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Alumna Sammy Levine Returns to VYCC as ShiftMeals Grow Team Manager

Vermont Youth Conservation Corp.

Sammy Levine has been back on the Farm at VYCC; not as a VYCC Corps Member, but as the Manager of ShiftMeals – a food security venture Skinny Pancake has launched in response to the pandemic.

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The Skinny Pancake starts free meal program

NBC 5 | Liz Strzepa

The lights are off and the doors are closed, but The Skinny Pancake is still in the business of serving food. “It’s actually kind of meaningful that this is how we’re going to be spending our time right now. We’re not just spinning our wheels wondering what’s next or when this is going to end,” said Michael Cyr, with The Skinny Pancake.

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