Planetary Matters, owner of Camp Meade in Middlesex, is partnering with local and state businesses and organizations to create a drive-thru food distribution event next month.
Russ Bennett, Waitsfield, one of the principals in Planetary Matters, said the group is working with the Vermont Foodbank, Capstone Community Development and others to make meals that will be distributed on June 6 from 9 a.m. to noon at Camp Meade.
“Additionally, we want to add contributions from other local restaurants and businesses. Randy George from Red Hen Bakery and I have talked about getting 10 bakeries to each make 100 loaves of bread and others to make quarts of soups. A quart of soup and a loaf of bread is a great meal,” he said.
As part of that effort, organizers are hoping to raise funds to help bakers and local restaurants cover the costs of ingredients to create food to be donated.
“If we can come up with $5 for ingredients per meal, that will really help,” Bennett said, noting that they hoped to raise $1,000 to $5,000 for this effort.
Beyond that, organizers are also going to ask community members to make and contribute whatever they can, whether that’s lasagna, cookies, soup or some other offering. Bennett said the logistics of how those donations will be gathered and handled are still being worked out. Other details about how cars will move through the site from Route 2, with cars queuing up from both directions, are being worked out with VTrans.
“We want to make this a joyful thing with greeters and signage and music, but no one will be allowed to get out of their car. Our idea is to have community support the community in every way possible,” he added.
While preparation for this event is underway, Lawson’s Finest in Waitsfield is offering free drive-thru meals through ShiftMeals, which is a local and statewide effort to provide meals to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ShiftMeals provides meals for those in need, including laid-off restaurant workers, musicians, artists, gig workers, farmers and anyone else affected by this crisis.
With existing locations in Burlington, Montpelier and Waterbury, the addition of a pickup site at Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Waitsfield will serve the Mad River Valley community and is part of the effort to expand the ShiftMeals network across the state.
“It has been inspiring to see how ShiftMeals has fed so many Vermonters during this pandemic. We are proud to be a partner in their efforts to ensure no one goes hungry,” said Karen Lawson, co-owner of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.
Meals can be ordered online weekly at LawsonsFinest.com by Tuesday noon for pickup at the retail drive-thru on Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. ShiftMeals was created by a partnership of The Skinny Pancake, Intervale Center, Vermont Community Foundation and High Meadows Fund.