News

Vermont Everyone Eats Celebrates 1 Million Meals!

Thursday April 29: Restaurant Meal Providers Celebrate Community Milestone

[Westminster, VT] - On Thursday April 29, Vermont Everyone Eats, a community driven COVID-19 response program is celebrating one million restaurant meals served to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity. Community partners across the state will be hosting local and online celebrations and invite media partners to visit distribution sites to help tell the story of successful statewide collaboration.
Vermont Everyone Eats has been developed through innovative cross-sector, public-private partnerships. 14 community “hubs” execute the programming on the ground in all 14 Vermont counties. These hubs represent hundreds of community organizations who have worked together to contract meals from participating restaurants, manage delivery logistics, promote the program, and ensure the meals are delivered safely to meal recipients.

Jean Hamilton, Vermont Everyone Eats statewide coordinator acknowledges the important role of the community hubs, “Vermont is well-known for its community organizations and thank goodness for them. In less than 9 months, our program was launched from a concept to this moment, 1 million local meals delivered to neighbors all across our state. We were able to do this because of the community organizations that stepped up and got right to work. They are the backbone of our community resilience.”
Vermont Everyone Eats program design draws on many of Vermont’s strengths. It puts Vermont’s independent restaurants and robust local food system at the center of feeding their communities. Over 200 Vermont restaurants have contributed to the one million meals, which have contained nearly $1 million of Vermont produced ingredients.

EveryoneEatsMillion FBfeed


###
Vermont Everyone Eats provides nutritious meals to Vermonters in need of food assistance as well as a stabilizing source of income for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and food producers. Vermont Everyone Eats is made possible by federal funding contracted through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA). SEVCA administers the program with guidance from a Statewide Task Force and in partnership with the following community organizations.
For information about Vermont Everyone Eats Community Hubs around the state:
Counties Served Community Hub Contact Person Contact Email
Addison Charter House Coalition Michele Gilbert This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Addison Vergennes Boys and Girls Club & Bar Antidote Ian Huizenga This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bennington The Collaborative and The Shires Jackie Borella This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Caledonia Rural Edge Robert Little This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Caledonia, Essex, Orleans NECKA Barbara Edelman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Caledonia, Orange, Windsor Upper Valley Everyone Eats Lauren Griswold This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Caledonia, Orleans Center for Ag Economy Meghan Wayland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Caledonia, Orleans Green Mountain Farm to School Alida Farrell This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle ShiftMeals and Intervale Center Sammy Levine This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Franklin, Grand Isle Healhty Roots Christine Porcaro This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lamoille, Washington, Orange Capstone Community Action and ShiftMeals Casey Engels This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rutland Vermont Farmers Food Center Harry DiPrinzio This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Windham Downtown Brattleboro Alliance Stephanie Bonin; Amanda Whitman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Windham Wilmington Works and The Shires Becky Arbella This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Windham, Windsor Chester Helping Hands and Springfield Family Center Chris Meyer; Trisha Paradis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Statewide Localvore - VEE digital vouchers Dan White This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more statewide information about Vermont Everyone Eats visit www.vteveryoneeats.org

 

SEVCA receives ‘Mittens Fund’ donation from Friends of Bernie Sanders

'Mittens Gift' will support agency’s mission to alleviate and eliminate poverty in S.E. Vermont

(Westminster, Vermont; 3/16/2021) Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) announces a generous gift from the Friends of Bernie Sanders, made possible by sales of items bearing ‘the Mittens Meme,’ which raised over $1.8 million. This unique unrestricted donation will help SEVCA both relieve the hardships caused by poverty and attack its causes in Windham and Windsor Counties, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

As this year’s mitten season draws to a close, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic drag on, and full economic rebound is still a long way off for many residents. For example, even prior to the ramp-up of COVID a year ago this week, 1 in 12 Vermonters were food insecure, but the pandemic spiked that number to a level not seen since the recession of 2008: since then, 1 in 3 Vermonters have experienced a lack of adequate access to food.  And it’s caused similarly deep impacts in many other areas of basic need – health / mental health, employment, housing, energy, and general financial security & well-being, to name a few.

“This amazing Mittens Meme gift is an unprecedented opportunity to address a wide range of needs that have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic,” noted SEVCA’s Executive Director Steve Geller, “and it allows us to collaborate with our clients, service partners, and communities to determine the highest priorities and customize how we use it to produce the most effective impacts. Very few other funds allow that level of flexibility, and even fewer on the scale of this one.”

SEVCA will be receiving $100,000 in “Mittens Money” and is one of the five Vermont Community Action Agencies receiving that amount.  Other groups benefitting from the fund include Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels, Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation, senior centers in Vermont, and Bi-State Primary Care for dental care improvements.  Together, the recipients of these generous contributions reflect Sen. Sanders’s longstanding passion for and commitment to addressing the needs related to poverty, the elderly, youth, and health care.

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) like SEVCA and its four partners in Vermont – BROC, Capstone, CVOEO and NEKCA – are among the over 1,000 nationwide who share the mission of easing the effects of poverty and eliminating its causes for all Americans.  “The importance of unrestricted funding like the Mittens Fund to fulfilling that mission cannot be overestimated,” said SEVCA’s Director of Planning & Development Carolyn Sweet.  “SEVCA receives millions of dollars in grants every year, but most of them are tightly restricted as to their purpose and what they can or can’t be spent on.  This gift enables SEVCA to use it in the way it will do the most good…for immediate relief, long-term recovery, and/or capacity-building to prevent, prepare for, or respond to future impacts of this or future crises, based on all the relevant and significant factors involved.”

 SEVCA is currently engaged in a process to determine the most effective uses for this donation in the context of other funding it has received or that may be available to address a number of different needs and issues.  According to Geller, their intention is to “optimize its use to best complement all other potential funding so that it does the most good for the most people for the longest possible time.  This extraordinary resource deserves no less.”

            For information about all of SEVCA’s programs and services, including Weatherization, Head Start, Crisis Assistance, Matched Savings, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA); and to get help to navigate and access the maze of available resources – SEVCA’s and all others, including information and assistance to schedule vaccination appointments and obtain stimulus payments – for relief and recovery from the effects of COVID-19, visit their website (https://sevca.org/), email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or call (800) 464-9951.  All of SEVCA’s services, and the vast majority, if not all, of the services SEVCA will refer you to or help you access, are provided free-of-charge to all eligible individuals and households.

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) was established in 1965 as part of the national War on Poverty to address the needs of low-income residents of Windham and Windsor Counties. In addition to providing the “safety net” for households in financial crisis, its services help them stabilize their lives, make their homes safe and energy-efficient, take strides toward becoming self-reliant, and enable their children to escape the generational poverty cycle.  These goals are achieved through such programs as VT Everyone Eats, Family Services, Crisis Fuel and Housing Assistance, 3SquaresVT (Food Stamp) Outreach, Head Start, Weatherization, Home Repair, Small Business Support & Assistance, Financial Fitness Education, Matched Savings, Job Readiness Training, Tax Preparation Assistance, Thrift Stores, and Health / Recovery Navigation.

# # #

https://www.reformer.com/community-news/sevca-receives-mittens-fund-donation/article_ef6767b4-8687-11eb-b4dc-7bce9dc6b56e.html

Money Management Class Offered FREE in May -Includes Financial Incentive!

Continuing in May, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 no cost Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money.  Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit and repair.  This four part series is offered each month in order to support Vermont communtiy members, especially those effected by COVID 19.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and time for May 2021:

Workshop 1:  

May 4:     10am-11am           or  

May 5:   6pm-7pm

Workshop 2:  

May 11: 10am-11am           or  

May 12: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 3:  

May 18: 10am-11am        or  

May 19: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 4:  

May 25: 10am-11am        or  

May 26: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget

Date:     May 4: 10am – 11am              OR               May 5: 6pm - 7pm

Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.        

Workshop 2: Set Your Goals – Manage Your Expenses

Date:   May 11: 10am - 11am              OR               May 12: 6pm - 7pm

After creating a budget, the next step is to identify goals. Examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll focus on successful strategies to achieve goals by using ways to lower expenses and to increase income, and what to do with bills you can’t pay.  

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast

Date:   May 18: 10am - 11am              OR               May 19: 6pm - 7pm

Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We’ll also learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.    

,

Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money

Date:   May 25: 10am - 11am               OR               May 26: 6pm - 7pm

Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We’ll look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and Identity theft.  

SEVCA's No Cost Weatherization Program Currently Accepting Applications

SEVCA offers NO COST Weatherization services for your home, apartment or mobile home whether you own or rent-

Applications currently being accepted for services to be offered this year.

(Westminster, VT, 3/9/2021) SEVCA currently has openings for no-cost weatherization services and is accepting applications. Some applicants will receive services this year. We provide complete weatherization services, from energy education to weatherization and energy retrofits. These free upgrades save money and help ensure a warm, comfortable, and safe home.  Our expert staff can help you to improve your home's performance by offering:

  • Home Energy Audits performed by a highly trained Energy Efficiency Auditor who will conduct a comprehensive home audit to determine what we can do to improve energy efficiency in the home.
  • A comprehensive plan to weatherize your home that includes air sealing, insulating, duct sealing, improving heating and cooling systems, minor repairs and health and safety improvements.
  • Energy efficiency upgrades on electric water heaters, lighting and old appliances through our partnership with Efficiency Vermont.

These services are available to Vermonters who meet income eligibility guidelines. Home owners and renters, including those in apartments and mobile homes are able to access this program. All household sizes may apply. For ex., eligibility for a household of two is about $50,000 per year and a household of 4 may be eligible with an income of about $63,000. Don’t hesitate to call as our program staff can help you to determine eligibility. More information about income eligibility is also available on our website. Services result in:

  • Lower heating bills,
  • Increased comfort in the home,
  • Increased Health and safety, and
  • Smaller carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

For more information about the program, please visit SEVCA’s no-cost weatherization webpage, https://sevca.org/weatherization/no-cost-homes-wx, or contact Tawny Staskunas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (802)722-4575 extension # 1308.

For information about SEVCA’s ongoing programs including programs that help community members to navigate the effects of COVID 19, including referral and access to applications for available supports, or to learn more about SEVCA’s no-cost Money Management and Vermont Matched Savings program, and/ or to make an appointment for our no-cost VITA tax prep services, you may visit our website, https://sevca.org/, or call to make an appointment, 800-464-9951.

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) was established in 1965 as part of the national War on Poverty to address the needs of low-income residents of Windham and Windsor Counties. In addition to providing the “safety net” for households in financial crisis, its services help them stabilize their lives, make their homes safe and energy-efficient, take strides toward becoming self-reliant, and enable their children to escape the generational poverty cycle.  These goals are achieved through such programs as Family Services, Crisis Fuel and Housing Assistance, 3SquaresVT (Food Stamp) Outreach, Head Start, Weatherization, Home Repair, Small Business Support & Assistance, Financial Fitness Education, Matched Savings, Job Readiness Training, Tax Preparation Assistance, Thrift Stores, and Health / Recovery Navigation.

# # #

Free Online Financial Management Classes in March

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money.  Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit and repair. 

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend all three workshops on Budgeting and Credit. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees.

For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Zoom Workshop dates and time for March 2021:

Workshop 1:         Mar 2: 10am-11am                   or      Mar 3:   6pm-7pm

Workshop 2:         Mar 9: 10am-11am                   or      Mar 10: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 3:         Mar16: 10am-11am          or      Mar 17: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 4:         Mar 23: 10am-11am          or      Mar 24: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget

Date:   Mar 2: 10am – 11am             OR              Mar 3: 6pm - 7pm

Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.     

Workshop 2: Set Your Goals – Manage Your Expenses

Date:  Mar 9: 10am - 11am                OR                         Mar 10: 6pm - 7pm

After creating a budget, the next step is to identify goals. Examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll focus on successful strategies to achieve goals by using ways to lower expenses and to increase income, and what to do with bills you can’t pay.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast

Date:    Mar 16: 10am - 11am                        OR                         Mar 17: 6pm - 7pm

Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We’ll also learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.  

,

Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money

Date:  Mar 23: 10am - 11am               OR              Mar 24: 6pm - 7pm

Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We’ll look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans and how to protect your information and money using digital apps.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead