REGION 1 – FEMA awarded a $2,566,225 grant to the State of Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development for its costs in the Vermont Everyone Eats Program.
The innovative program is a vital part of the state’s emergency feeding initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutritious meals are prepared by participating restaurants and distributed to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity.
The Vermont agency contracted with Westminster-based Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) to operate the program, and a statewide task force with members from 16 organizations advises SEVCA. With community “hubs” and over 130 distribution sites managed by 18 regional partners, the program offers coverage in all 14 Vermont counties for individuals and families in crisis.
It leverages Vermont’s independent restaurants and robust system of farms and food producers, serving up to 30,000 meals per week. On April 29, it achieved a major milestone: 1 million meals—containing nearly $1 million of Vermont-produced ingredients—that generated $10 million for more than 200 restaurants. The program launched in August 2020 with $5 million from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund and has continued with additional funding through FEMA.
FEMA provides funding for the program through its Public Assistance Program grants. This grant covered 100% of the program’s eligible costs submitted from April 12 through May 16, 2021. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program reimburses eligible applicants for actions taken in the immediate response to and during recovery from a major disaster. Eligible applicants include states, commonwealths, local governments, Tribes, territories and certain private non-profit organizations.
“We are once again pleased to provide funds to reimburse our valued State of Vermont partner,” said Acting Region 1 Administrator and Federal Coordinating Officer Paul Ford, who oversees FEMA’s operations throughout New England. “These funds helped feed those in need across the Green Mountain State during the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.”
This is the fifth Public Assistance Program grant announced in 2021 by FEMA reimbursing the costs of the Vermont Everyone Eats Program. They total more than $13.6 million. FEMA also provided a 100% federal cost share of the program’s eligible costs submitted for those four previous Public Assistance Program projects.
As of June 25, FEMA’s Public Assistance Program obligated more than $232 million in 115 projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Vermont. Additional information about the FEMA program is at https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters