FEAST News

Current COVID guidelines affecting MSAC operations 

FEAST Curbside Meals: We're back in-person: Picnic with us inside or out!

As of July 6th, MSAC’s doors are open for feasters to bring their meals inside on Tuesdays and Fridays. Simply pick up your meal at the side entrance, and bring your meal inside, or sit outside at one of the tables in the front courtyard. Volunteers will be on hand to offer you water and collect your silverware. Enjoy music, fresh air, delicious meals – and each other’s company again! Reservations are not required but are appreciated by calling 262-6288.   Thanks to all who have helped make this return possible! And by the way, if you prefer to take your meal to-go, you are STILL welcome to pull up curbside, pick it up, and take it home or elsewhere to enjoy.... through September!

Volunteer for FEAST
As FEAST ramps back up to serving meals in-person and eventually 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, feast@montpelier-vt.org.

We are seeking the following:

  • FEAST Curbside Picnic Volunteers
  • FEAST Farm Support
  • FEAST Special Events Volunteers
  • FEAST Meals on Wheels Drivers

FEAST Farm Tour Report: A Resounding Success!

By Sarah Lifarm tour 6-29-21pton, FEAST Program Manager

On June 29, 15 Montpelier teens working at the farm this summer through the new Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps (MYCC) gathered together under the tent at Montpelier’s FEAST Farm (5 Home Farm Way), and families with young children scarfed down garlic-scape scones (baked by Good Taste Catering with the farm’s own scapes), while listening to jaunty fiddle tunes of Park Director, Alec Ellsworth.

Joining them were older adults from the community, most of the management team for the City of Montpelier, Mayor Anne Watson, representatives from Central Vermont Council on Aging, the State Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), local church meal volunteers, VT Foodbank representatives, Allison Levin from Community Harvest of Central Vermont, and the extraordinary Parks Department staff who made the Farm possible. 

 And Senator Bernie Sanders showed up!

The goal of the Farm Tour was to raise awareness of the Farm, the intricacies of the partnerships thatfarm tour bernie and kids 6-29-21 make it possible and the innovation occurring within the program. The FEAST Farm grows organic produce to feed the senior community who receive nutritious meals from the FEAST Senior Meals Program. Senator Sanders wanted to learn more from the MYCC youth about their experience and held an engaging conversation with them.

Senator Sanders confirmed he didn’t know of any other capital city producing food for its community in this way and will bring word back to Washington. Mary Woodruff from DAIL said the FEAST Farm model is something that Vermont should replicate in other communities. 

To learn more about the FEAST Farm, FEAST Senior Meals Program, and how to get involved, contact FEAST Program Manager Sarah Lipton: slipton@montpelier-vt.org or 262-6288.

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.

Older News Items

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.

FEAST apple words
Your Words Matter!
Back in February, FEAST staff and volunteers polled recipients to find out what FEAST means to them. Thanks to those efforts, we are pleased to share this new image with you. May it inspire! Click on the image to enlarge it!


Everyone Eats Spotlight  
Good Taste Catering, producers of FEAST's delicious Senior Meals, is part of the robust Everyone Eats program in Vermont (learn more here:). Everyone Eats got started in the wake of the pandemic in 2020 and has been serving more than 30,000 meals across the state. Capstone Community Action has recently been producing little video spotlights about the program as well, so click here to learn even more.

FEAST Presents: Online Resources
FEAST Senior Meals Program works hard to bring you more than just delicious, nutritious food. We work to bring you social enrichment, community engagement, and robust resources to ensure that you are thriving as you age in place. As we continue to contend with limited social engagement due to the ongoing pandemic, we have worked to bring you a new list of online resources to ease some of your isolation. Enjoy perusing these resources listed on our website, and let us know if you have questions: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/1241/FEAST-Resources-Partners.

FEAST Partner Offers Plentiful Access to Nutritious Food
At Just Basics, Inc., we have enjoyed a long and strong relationship with FEAST. Our two organizations share a mission of ensuring our community has easy and plentiful access to nutritious food and referring guests to other support services as much as we’re able.

Just Basics runs the Montpelier Food Pantry and other programs that help end cycles of injustice. The Pantry serves approximately 700 community members each month, helping folks in Central Vermont confront food insecurity in these difficult times. Much like FEAST, the Pantry is still only doing curbside pick up as we are not yet able to welcome guests back into the Pantry.

Located at the back entrance of Trinity Church (137 Main Street), the Pantry is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from 10 am to 12noon. We have also recently added online ordering to our program -- which has been popular and helps patrons avoid long wait times -- and we’re currently expanding our pilot home delivery program.

Please stop by during Pantry hours or order ahead and pick up at your designated time. CLICK HERE to order online, or visit our website for more information. To donate food, please drop items at the Pantry entrance during operating hours; to donate money, you may donate online or email Development and Communications Manager Jolynda Burton.