As local businesses close and reduce services and hours, the Mad River Valley Community Fund is working to provide assistance and information in multiple ways, according to coordinator Rebecca Baruzzi. 

Baruzzi said that the community fund is working on a shortened application for those needing financial assistance as well as other types of help. The Mad River Valley Food Shelf is working on extending its hours as well.

Local nurse Jess Tomkins, working with Baruzzi and others on the emergency response, has created a shareable Google doc for people who want to volunteer. That document is here:

People can also call Waitsfield Elementary School principal Kaiya Korb at 793-6148. Baruzzi said that Free Wheelin’, the free local transportation service, is seeking volunteer drivers as the current volunteers have stepped down due to their age and the need to self-isolate. 

Meals On Wheels is in a similar situation, needing volunteer prep cooks and drivers. All volunteers are asked to go through the Google doc. The Mad River Valley Seniors will not be serving aggregate meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but is working on a plan where people can stop by and pick up a meal. 

People who need assistance can call the food shelf at 496-2830, the food shelf coordinator at 496-9709, Meals on Wheels and the senior center at 496-2543, Free Wheelin' at 249-3427 and the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council at 839-8195. Other requests for assistance can be made to Baruzzi at 802-461-6241.

With Governor Scott’s March 15 announcement that all Vermont schools must close by March 18, local school officials are working on plans for the closure as well as plans for providing students with meals and other services. Updates will be forthcoming. 

On March 16, the Waitsfield Select Board will meet with town emergency manager Fred Messer and possibly the emergency managers from Fayston and Warren as well. That meeting with be broadcast live to Mad River Valley Television’s  YouTube channel and from there it will be broadcast live to Waitsfield Cable.

In terms of child care for parents who need it as well as medical professionals who need to work, Baruzzi said that work on that front is continuing.