More than 15 participants identified and referred by SVCOA were older adults who lived at home and were interested in cooking but needed help with recipes and meal preparation. Beginning in mid-October, each week participants will receive a meal kit containing chopped and packaged local ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes that focus on local farmers and producers. Over 90% of the food in each meal kit is locally grown.
VFFC Community Engagement Coordinator Grace Davy created a fitting and delicious weekly recipe from one-on-one conversations with attendees. The kit included a beet and chevre frittata and whole wheat pancakes. Corn and bacon chowder and cucumber salad. chicken and biscuits; vegetable minestrone her soup and biscuits.
Every week, local vegetables, meats and dairy are purchased through VFFC’s Meal Kit Bulk Wholesale Food Program. All ingredients are processed and portioned in her Costello’s commercial kitchen by Stephens of Sudbury, her farmstead chef and her community partner Jane. “I am so grateful to be a part of Eat At Home and Vermont Everyone Eats. These programs have been tremendous assets to our communities, farms, small businesses, and those in need. I am honored to be part of the program,” said Costello. Additional basic staple ingredients are now available through our partnership with the Rutland Area Food Co-op.
Participants sampled root vegetables from Yoder Farms in Danby, delicatessen squash and beets from Boardman Hill Farms in West Rutland, garlic from Tel-a-Terre Farms in Poultney, basil from Rotary Greenhouse at VFFC, and chicken from Mistin Knoll Farms in New. I am having fun with my meal kit. Haven, Orwell’s Stonewood Farm turkey, Wells’ Larson’s Dairy Whole Milk, Poulteney’s Quill Hill Farm dried herbs. Additionally, value-added products such as pancake mixes from Naga Bakehouse in Middletown Springs and freshly baked buttermilk biscuits from Hubbardton’s Frog Hollow Farm are also attracting attendee attention. One of his EAH attendees said it was “the best biscuit I’ve ever eaten.”
All products highlighted and enjoyed are available for purchase at VFFC’s online marketplace.
Through conversations with attendees, SVCOA Assistant Community Services Director Madeleine Gardner reported: Participants commented that the program was classy and the food was of high quality. They were confident that the food provided would not be affected by bank account balances. Participants felt that the program empowered them and gave them the ability to contribute to their communities rather than putting them in a category of “poverty”. One said it was an empowering program. He felt a sense of accomplishment by participating. ”
EAH delivery driver Betsy Bauer used the opportunity to have one-on-one time with each participant to make meaningful connections during weekly drop-offs every Thursday. This is another example of the community created in her 12 weeks on the program. Eat At Home combines her VFFC Farmacy Project concept of distributing fresh, local ingredients to improve health and wellness as a locally grown food program with VFFC Everyone Eats food preparation and community distribution. I’m here. Eat At Home serves as a model program for older, nutritionally at-risk Vermonters in Rutland County. They can still cook, but they may need a little more help with access to healthy foods and food preparation to meet their nutritional needs. As a result, programs like Eat At Home help older adults to be healthier, more independent, and spend more time at home.