Vermonters Continue to Support Their Neighbors

June 15, 2020
A person holds a basket full of vegetables
Vermonters have been working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19, and as hard as these times have been for everybody, the spirit of Vermont communities is alive and well. Vermonters are sticking together at heart while staying apart. 

An Essex landlord is giving his tenants a break by dropping rent prices, understanding that lost hours mean financial struggles for everybody, himself included, according to Seven Days. 

An art teacher at Johnson Elementary School, missing her students, has put together art kits for all 170 of them, giving them a creative outlet during long hours at home. She told MyChamplainValley it was a community effort – a neighbor freed up garage space and community arts organizations helped with supplies. 

University of Vermont student Taran Catania donated her graduation gown to Gowns4Good, an initiative started by a health care worker friend, collecting graduation wear to protect those on the front lines. 

For Vermont’s musicians, gigs have ebbed away, gutting the performance season. But now there’s plenty of time to use their talents to help the community, as a group of local musicians did by putting out an album in support of the Vermont Foodbank. Proceeds from Music to Feed the Soul go directly to the food bank. 

Local newspapers are businesses too, and when money is tight, ad revenue slips. One Randolph resident is helping provide needed revenue by buying weekly ad space for jokes. VTDigger reports the jokes are intended to cheer up the community and shore up revenue for the Herald of Randolph. 

According to Seven Days, almost one in four Vermonters is worried about having enough to eat. Fortunately, Vermont’s communities are stepping up to feed their neighbors, from giving away homemade bread to helping each other grow produce at home to restaurateurs providing free meals to frontline workers or those struggling with lost wages. 

It may feel like individuals can’t do much to help, but by working together, they can make a huge impact. A group of Vermont chefs have put together an e-cookbook to raise profits for the Restaurant Strong Fund, providing $1,000 grants to restaurant employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, according to the Rutland Herald. 

Grand Isle’s Arbor Farmstead first began selling its produce online in lieu of farmers markets, but when people began asking to feed neighbors who needed food more than they did, owner Alisha Utter began giving them the option to fill food baskets for those in need. 

Similar to Little Free Libraries, Little Free Pantries have begun popping up in Burlington neighborhoods, according to Seven Days. They’re put up by nonprofit ONE Good Deed Fund, and aim to connect people in need with no-questions-asked essentials. 

Every Vermonter knows winter heat never strays far from our minds; one Jericho father and his son are collecting firewood to spread around the community, ensuring financial strain doesn’t exacerbate next winter’s chill. 

Vermonters pull together in times of turmoil and stress. Together, Vermont’s communities will get through the COVID-19 crisis. 

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