We're hiring a Kitchen Manager/Chef!
FEAST Farm Volunteers Needed, Too!
FEAST Transitions Continue
FEAST has undergone a large series of transitions recently…we have a new program manager: Kim Myers just getting started, and our kitchen is being revamped to open again under the stewardship of volunteer Albert Sabatini in November. For the month of October, we’ll be receiving delicious meals to share with you from our friends at Capstone’s Community Kitchen Academy.
We are also implementing a new database so we can better keep track of all the behind-the-scenes administrative necessities, and we are focused on processing the glorious abundance of local farm produce. The bottom line, though, is bringing YOU the delicious, nutritious meals you deserve.
If you or someone you know is interested in trying out the scrumptious meals our new Chef is producing, please do not hesitate to join us. Meals are available at no charge for seniors over 60 through our Meals on Wheels program – offering daily hot meal delivery again in November - or our Curbside Pickup meals offered on Tuesdays and Fridays. We always welcome donations, and you may contribute to our robust nutrition program in a variety of ways: online, through a check, or drop off a donation when you pick up your meal.
Now that we are planning to open the kitchen again, we are looking for volunteers to help us produce these necessary meals. If you are interested, feel free to drop by in the mornings (masks on, please) between 9:30-11:30, or make a schedule by reaching out to our new FEAST Program Manager at: FEAST@montpelier-vt.org
The best way to celebrate the harvest of this season? To eat it! Join us at FEAST Senior Meals for your taste of the harvest!
Feast Farm Journal: Sept.—Oct. ~by Leila Faulstich, Parks VHCB Americorps member
These days, I have a lot of love in my heart for Feast Farm. Jac continues to manage it; she is an intelligent, kind and keen-eyed leader. Our new Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps (MYCC) crew came on Monday to help us weed and harvest. As we introduced them to the Feast Farm project, the radicalness and potency of what we are doing really struck me. How incredible it would be if every city had a farm to feed its citizens! If every high schooler had the opportunity to learn about tending the land for class credit! (Time to dream). The farm is at peak harvest. The tomatoes are so abundant they leave Cara slack-jawed. The colors on the rows--purples, reds, greens, marigold goldens, russets, oranges-- are dizzying. This month we harvested turnips, red and yellow onions, chard, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, shishito peppers, red peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spring onion, eggplant and beets. And there’s so much more to come! We know this abundance won’t last-- a first frost nips the near future... But in the meantime, come visit us, and the vegetables, and the old John Deere tractor, and the woodchuck holes, and the out-of-control weeds, and the long river, and the wavering, late-summer light.
Learn More about FEAST Farm
Want to learn more about FEAST Farm and how it supports FEAST Senior Meals? Visit the website at https://www.montpelier-vt.org/1235/FEAST-Farm. Sarah Lipton wrote an article in the recently VT-published zine called Grounded: How Vermonters are cultivating transformative relationships with the land. The zine is a project of 350VT and full of great stories. Check out Sarah’s on page 30-31.
FEAST Veggie Fiesta: You are Invited to Volunteer in the Kitchen!
Top image: Volunteers Ghazi, Scudder and David process freshly harvested beans recently, plus below: a beautiful batch of basil in the kitchen, prior to being processed!
Montpelier’s FEAST Farm has grown above and beyond…and the Montpelier Senior Activity Center (MSAC) is seeking volunteers to help us process the beautiful produce so we can use it this fall and winter to incorporate into our FEAST Senior Meals. Join us for 1.5+ hours, and enjoy kitchen camaraderie and a special Mediterranean lunch prepared for you by our lead kitchen volunteer, a chef from Tunisia! Volunteer Fiestas will take place in the beautiful MSAC Kitchen (58 Barre St, Montpelier) on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 – 12:30pm. If you are interested, please RSVP with your available date(s) by clicking on our signup sheet here.
Alternately, email email@example.com or call 262-6288 to learn about volunteering in other ways with FEAST now or later this Fall.
Kitchen inventory process underway and funding sought for re-stocking
Team MSAC and FEAST are working on updating our kitchen inventory lists, taking stock of what equipment and supplies need replacement or enhancement in quantities, and preparing to re-open our kitchen under new management in October. To that end, and so that we can eventually increase capacity and better support local food security for older adults and others, we are seeking funding support through grant opportunities. Stay tuned!
Reminder about our FEAST Resources Page
Have you checked out our two content-rich Resources pages for FEAST and MSAC? On the former, we just put up a new link you'll want to check out on a rainy day or if resuming more at-home time as COVID numbers rise and colder weather approaches. This was shared with us by a mother-daughter team in Iceland who somehow found their way to our Resource page recently! Go ahead, share with a friend or loved one, too!
FEAST Picnic Meals Inside on-hold for now
With COVID numbers rising in our region, we are encouraging all people to mask inside MSAC regardless of vaccine status, and we have decided to pause from serving meals inside at this time until further notice, effective August 13. Those picking up our Curbside meals on Tuesdays and Fridays, 12-12:30pm, are welcome to picnic outside on our benches, at the hexagonal table, or under the pergola, but no table service is set up at this time. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to getting back inside again as soon as it feels safe to do so.
FEAST Farm featured in new zine article
Want to learn more about FEAST Farm and how it supports FEAST Senior Meals? Sarah Lipton wrote a fabulous article in the recently published zine called Grounded: How Vermonters are cultivating transformative relationships with the land. The zine is a project of 350VT and full of great stories. Check out Sarah’s on page 30-31 here. You can also view or download a PDF directly, here, (her story page 16 there) and we’ll have some hard copies at MSAC within the coming weeks if you’d like to request one. Contact Sarah for more info at 262-6288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer for FEAST
As we ramp back up to serving meals inside and delivering daily hot meals, we are going to need a lot more help again. If you or someone you know is interested in helping us bring nutritious, delicious meals to seniors who need them, please let us know by calling or emailing us: 802-262-6288, email@example.com. We are seeking the following:
- Meals on Wheels Drivers
- FEAST Curbside Picnic Volunteers
- FEAST Special Events Volunteers
- FEAST Farm Support
Social Media Volunteer for FEAST
Do you have some extra time on your hands and some skill with writing? FEAST is looking for some help with managing our Facebook page. If you are interested, please reach out to Sarah Lipton at 262-6288.
Older News Items
FEAST Farm Tour Report: A Resounding Success!
Another Food Resource: CSFP
Commodity Supplemental Food Program is a monthly box of shelf-stable foods that income eligible folks over 60 can access. To get help applying or learn about other resources to stretch your food budget and increase your nutrition, call the Helpline: 1-800-642-5119.
FEAST Recipe Corner: Baked Cauliflower Tots
FEAST is happy to be celebrating the beginning of summer, health and nutritious veggies, so we wanted to offer you this simple, delicious recipe created by the VT Foodbank's VT Fresh Network. Click here to view it! All ingredients can be locally sourced. Enjoy the recipe and make enough to share with a friend (by safely delivering, of course!). Try these baked cauliflower tots for a fun twist on this nutrient rich veggie. This is a kid AND senior approved side dish or snack! Try dipping in ketchup or a savory Greek yogurt dip. This recipe makes 4-6 servings. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to feature, send it to us at FEAST@montpelier-vt.org
Full Plates VT: Get a Box of Food!
The Vermont Foodbank is excited to announce the launch of Full Plates VT. Full Plates VT will distribute food boxes, made up of produce and other fresh and shelf-stable items, at drive through style distributions throughout all fourteen counties in Vermont. The program is currently scheduled to run from June – September, 2021. New dates will continue to be added to the registration website so please continue to check-back for new distributions. View dates and register to pick up a box for you or a neighbor here.
Get more at the store with 3SquaresVT!
A monthly benefit income eligible folks can use to purchase the foods they need, when they need them. Many are eligible and don’t know, so Central VT Council on Aging offers application assistance for 3SquaresVT! To learn more, please call 1-800-642-5119. Stretch your food budget with 3SquaresVT!
Community Harvest of Central Vermont - On the radio!
FEAST's wonderful partner, the Community Harvest of Central VT had the opportunity to be on WDEV's Vermont Viewpoint recently to discuss all of the exciting things happening at CHCV. You can listen to the Podcast recording to hear Allison talking to Ric Cengeri here. The CHCV 30 minute segment starts at 1:07:20. "One thing I still marvel at is the kindness of Vermonters - always looking for ways to help one another." ~Ric Cengari introducing CHCV. Learn more about CHCV: CommunityHarvestVT.org
3SquaresVT in a SNAP: A simpler way to get food assistance
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 Vermont residents has experienced hardships buying groceries. 3SquaresVT, Vermont’s name for the Federal program SNAP, provides monthly monetary benefits that help Vermont residents stretch their food budgets, ensuring everyone has enough nourishing food to eat. Households in which everyone is either 60 and over or receive disability benefits may be eligible for 3Squares in a SNAP, a simpler application process that can enroll you in both food assistance and fuel assistance. Your benefits last for a period of three years before you need to enroll again, and there is no annual review process. You also have the choice whether to receive benefits on a Vermont EBT card or as cash deposited directly into your bank account. To learn more about how you can benefit from 3SquaresVT, visit vermontfoodhelp.com.