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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Vermont Restaurant Week Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Record Gift to Vermont Foodbank

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 3:42 PM

Left to right: Corey Grenier (Seven Days), Mae Quilty (City Market), John Sayles (Vermont Foodbank), Kylie Perry (Vermont Federal Credit Union)
  • Left to right: Corey Grenier (Seven Days), Mae Quilty (City Market), John Sayles (Vermont Foodbank), Kylie Perry (Vermont Federal Credit Union)
When Seven Days launched Vermont Restaurant Week 10 years ago, the goal was to celebrate Vermont’s vibrant food scene, drive traffic to local businesses and help our neighbors in need. At least one measure of the event’s success set a record this year: a $25,344.03 donation to the Vermont Foodbank. Over the past decade, Restaurant Week has generated a total of $147,395.36 for the Vermont nonprofit. Vermont Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of Restaurant Week.

“We are so grateful to Seven Days and Vermont Federal Credit Union for organizing this event, to all of the restaurants who participated, and to all of the individuals who dined during the 10th annual Vermont Restaurant Week,” said John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank. “The Vermont Foodbank believes everyone in Vermont plays a role in solving hunger, and this generous gift is an example of how our friends, neighbors and businesses come together to ensure that everyone in Vermont has access to healthy food every day.”
“It's a tremendous feeling knowing that, as the presenting sponsor of Vermont Restaurant Week, we have been a part of growing an event that builds financially strong communities, promotes Vermont’s thriving food industry, and has also provided nearly $150,000 to the Vermont Foodbank over the past 10 years,” said Jean Giard, president and CEO of Vermont Federal Credit Union.

Many sources contributed to the total donation. Proceeds from the Sweet Start Smackdown, a dessert competition featuring local pastry chefs, benefitted the foodbank. Donations also came from a panel discussion at ArtsRiot; from Pints & Poses, a yoga class for digestion at Burlington Beer Company’s Taproom; from the Sensory Social, a cider and cheese pairing at CO Cellars; Culinary Trivia Night at Nectar’s; event raffles; and a portion of sponsorship dollars.
City Market/Onion River Co-op, one of the festival’s sponsors, gave the Vermont Foodbank 40 percent of its two stores’ Rally for Change donations during the month of April. The program encourages customers to round up their total at the register and donate the difference.

Finally, restaurants were encouraged to donate $1 to the foodbank from every meal sold during Restaurant Week. Embracing that initiative were 3 Squares Café, August First Bakery & Café, the Bearded Frog, the Bench, Bistro de Margot, Bleu Northeast Seafood, Bluebird Barbecue, Burlington Beer Company, Charlie B’s Pub & Restaurant at Stoweflake, Cork Wine Bar & Market, the Daily Planet, ¡Duino! (Duende), East West Café, Fire & Ice Restaurant, Hazel, J. Morgan's Steakhouse, Junction at the Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, Juniper, Kismet, Michael's on the Hill, Misery Loves Co., Ruben James, the Scale, Three Brothers Pizza & Grill, Three Penny Taproom, Tres Amigos, Vermont Pub & Brewery and the Windjammer Restaurant.

More than 100 restaurants across the state participated in Vermont Restaurant Week this year. Each location offered special, prix-fixe meals during the event, which ran from April 26 to May 5.

In addition to Vermont Federal Credit Union and City Market, this year’s sponsors were Vermont Creamery, Burlington Beer Company, WhistlePig Whiskey, Shacksbury Cider and the Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, with media support from WCAX, WNCS the Point, Front Porch Forum and the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing.

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