Covid 19

Food Relief Pilot Program

The City has now launched the Food Relief Pilot Program to supplement the outstanding programs like Feeding Chittenden and Meals on Wheels that are seeing a surge 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.
  • Tracy Shamburg from Age Well urged local residents to volunteer and help get food to those in need. This program supplements and adds capacity to existing programs like Meals on Wheels and Feeding Chittenden.
  • 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.

Pilot Program:

  • We propose using $5,000 in existing CDBG grant funds to seed The Burlington Food Relief Pilot Program. HUD outlines food delivery programs as ideal use of CDBG foods when responding to COVID-19. Upon approval, these CDBG funds would be sent to City Market and the program will begin. 
  • Local restaurants listed below will be given a $500 City Market grocery budget and assigned a day to cook over 200 individual meals for the 3 below recipients. All groceries will be purchased from City Market and delivered to the restaurant kitchen. City Market will send CEDO all receipts for auditing purposes.
  • Volunteers will then deliver over 200 meals to the nonprofits below 3x per week. Volunteer drivers will wear gloves and follow social distancing practices.

Scaling the Pilot:

  • 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. 
  • Additional funds will be needed to continue this program. Potential additional funding sources are:
    • Additional CDBG/FEMA Funds (on the way)
    • Vermont Community Fund COVID-19 Response Fund

Local businesses preparing food:

  • A Single Pebble
  • August First 
  • City Market
  • Sweet Waters

Recipients in need:

  • Spectrum – 60 meals
  • The Family Room – 100 meals
  • Heineberg Senior Center - 40 meals
  • COVID-19 Patient Center - 10 meals


  • We have already received a number of requests from volunteer delivery drivers to support these efforts.