Farming and farm-based products are embedded in the cultural fabric of Vermont. Agriculture may not look like it did fifty years ago but it is still critical to Vermont’s economy, health, and working landscape. This has proven to be fundamental to our resilience during the pandemic. Vermont’s food system—growers, processors, distributors, restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.—continue to meet the demand from local consumers uncertain of national supply chains and they are stretching in new ways to ensure no Vermonters go hungry.Read more about "The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Food System Resilience"
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Downtown Brattleboro 48-Hour Campaign
On Friday, April 3rd, the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance kicked off a 48-hour gift card challenge where every online gift card purchased from a downtown Brattleboro business would be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000 by a generous local donor. The matching gift cards would be distributed via The Retreat Farm's Pick-Up-A-Pantry Program, a COVID-19 specific initiative that gives out weekly grocery bags of staples to 50 families in need.
By the end of the 48-hour challenge, four other donors had stepped up through the weekend to extend the match. In the end, $13,000 of angel donor money contributed to a total impact of $57,503 contributed to downtown businesses.
Trust, hope, love, and financial support is why this 48-hour challenge was created. My hope is that it gives our businesses a small runway to figure out their next step. Stephanie Bonin, executive director of the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance