Covid 19

Food Relief Program

The City has now launched the Food Relief Program to supplement outstanding programs such as Feeding Chittenden and Meals on Wheels that are seeing surges in demand. 

Demonstrated Need:

  • The Small Business and Employer Support Team has heard from numerous local nonprofit organizations that are struggling to meet the increased demand for prepared meals due to COVID-19.
  • The Small Business and Employer Team has also heard from a number of local restaurants that have offered to donate cooking labor and provide prepared meals to local organizations in need.

What the Food Relief program is and how it works:

  • The Small Business and Employer Support Team started a 5-week COVID-19 Food Relief Pilot Program on March 27, 2020, with a $5,000 investment of CDBG funds by The City of Burlington. This has been continued in part thanks to various donors to the program listed below. 
  • Burlington restaurants that wish to participate are given a $500 grocery allowance with City Market to cook approximately 200 meals for local non-profits in need. City Market delivers groceries to participating restaurants with containers and bags. City Market sends CEDO all grocery receipts for auditing purposes upon completion of the program. 
  • Volunteer drivers deliver meals from participating restaurants to non-profits at 11am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Volunteer drivers wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow social distancing practices.

Program Highlights:

  • As of July 7th, The Food Relief Program has delivered 10,200 prepared meals to four local nonprofits serving Burlington’s most vulnerable residents (approximately $1.50/meal).
  • As the program has been implemented and proven, it has been easier to scale by increasing the number of meals prepared and bringing on additional restaurants.
  • We thank United Way for their $5,000 donation, Mascoma Bank for their $4,000 donation, and the ONE Good Deed Fund for their $1,000 donation. 
  • The Food Relief program recently received an additional $7,000 in funds from the sale of Burlington Telecom, allowing the program to continue until September 7th. 

Looking Forward:

  • While the program initially started with serving 250 meals per shift, demands have slightly decreased as more food assistance becomes available, so the program has reduced to serving 200 meals per shift. The Food Relief program will continue to adjust based on need within the community. 
  • Additional funds will be needed to continue this program long term. 

Local businesses preparing food:

  • A Single Pebble
  • August First 
  • City Market
  • Sweet Waters
  • Burlington Country Club

Organizations receiving meals:

  • Spectrum
  • The Family Room
  • Heineberg Senior Center
  • COVID-19 Patient Center

Volunteering and Donations:

Interested in providing assistance to the Food Relief program? We could use your help! For any volunteer or donation inquiries related to this program, please contact wclavelle@burlingtonvt.gov or call the RRC at 802-755-7239.