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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

USDA Shifts Vermont Farmers to Families Contract to Boston Company

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 7:04 PM

Dairy products in a Farmers to Families Food Box sourced by the Abbey Group - COURTESY THE ABBEY GROUP
  • Courtesy the Abbey Group
  • Dairy products in a Farmers to Families Food Box sourced by the Abbey Group
The Abbey Group, a family-owned food service management company based in Enosburg Falls, has failed to land a contract for the latest round of the USDA Farmers to Families food boxes in Vermont.

It had previously earned two USDA contracts worth $13.9 million to distribute boxes of staple foods to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic.

Instead, the main Vermont contract was awarded to Boston-based Costa Fruit & Produce, confirmed Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Vermont Retailers Incentivize Customers to Mask Up

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 2:26 PM

Cheese & Wine Traders team members wearing masks - COURTESY CHEESE & WINE TRADERS
  • Courtesy Cheese & Wine Traders
  • Cheese & Wine Traders team members wearing masks
The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association has launched a social media campaign to encourage customers to wear masks when shopping inside retail businesses.

Vermonters who post a photo of themselves on social media wearing a mask outside a local retailer with the tag #maskforthewin will be entered in a weekly prize giveaway.  The organization represents about 800 retailers in Vermont, as well as another 250 suppliers to the industry.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

An Early Morning Grocery Store Routine, and Still No TP

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:27 AM


Kris Nine at City Market - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Kris Nine at City Market
We needed garlic, lettuce and beer, and the cats and dogs were running low on kibble. Also, we had to re-up our supply of household essentials: ginger ale and vanilla ice cream. In other words, it was time for a trip to City Market.

The store opens at 7 a.m., with the first hour designated for people 60 and older and “those who identify as at-risk.” I don’t identify as 61, but I am 61. So I set out for the South End store at 6:55 on a recent morning.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

UVM Survey Explores the Coronavirus and Food Insecurity

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 at 4:42 PM


Food in a gorcery store - FILE: ALICE LEVITT
  • File: Alice Levitt
  • Food in a gorcery store
Researchers at the University of Vermont, working with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University, have developed and distributed a survey to learn how the coronavirus might impact food insecurity.

Meredith Niles, lead investigator and assistant professor in UVM’s Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, said in a press release that the pandemic has “highlighted a number of instabilities in the food system.”

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

UVM Economist Sara Solnick on COVID-19, Fear and Consumer Behavior

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Sara Solnick - COURTESY OF FRANCES SOLNICK
  • Courtesy of Frances Solnick
  • Sara Solnick
Sara Solnick is associate professor and chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Vermont and has expertise in applied microeconomics. Seven Days asked her about the coronavirus and its possible impact on restaurant dining. She replied by email from London, where she's visiting her daughter.

SEVEN DAYS: How does consumer behavior typically change when people are worried or fearful? Is there research that applies specifically to eating out?

SARA SOLNICK: There is research on food safety specifically and dining out, and, as you would expect, people who are worried about food safety or who’ve had a bad experience are less likely to dine out. But in that case, people could avoid specific foods or a particular restaurant. This is a very unusual situation that combines concerns about health and concerns about income, because, for people who are not on salary, their income may be disrupted, and people with investments and retirement accounts have seen the markets drop.

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