Weekly Email Update 11.30.20

Weekly Email Update 11.30.20

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
George Jean Nathan b.1882 d.1958
American drama critic and magazine editor

      We hope you and yours have had some time to relax and reflect this holiday weekend, WeCAN friends. We are so appreciative of your support and readership these last 4 years; you have encouraged and supported this small-but-mighty group through your words and actions and we couldn’t be more grateful for all that you do. Thank you!
      With Georgia’s runoff election one week closer, it is imperative that we help increase voter turnout in whatever way we can. Tonight, Sunday, November 30th, you can learn how you can help the Environmental Voter Project, a nonprofit that focuses on mobilizing non-voting environmentalists, in a one-of-a-kind Zoom call. EVP targeted 1.8 million never-voted-before environmentalists in the 2020 presidential election and helped get over 600,000 of them to vote early (including 69,332 in Georgia). Now, they're raising funds to scale up their efforts for the Georgia US Senate runoff elections and have identified 382,844 environmentalists who are unlikely to vote in the January 5th runoff. This call will feature EVP Founder and Executive Director Nathaniel Stinnett, who will explain EVP's methods and results before answering questions. 
    Join Piper Perabo, actor and activist (Coyote Ugly & Covert Affairs), Laura Hillenbrand New York Times best-selling author (author of Sea Biscuit among other notable works), Daniel James Brown, New York Times best selling author, Rebecca Skloot, New York Times best selling author (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Tim Guinee, actor & activist (Iron Man), and Nathaniel Stinnet, Founder & Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project, among others, this evening in an effort to raise funds and voter awareness in Georgia! We hope to see you there.
     To RSVP, please click HERE. 

 

HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30th, 2020-SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6th, 2020

Vermont Foodbank Produce Drop
hosted by Putney Foodshelf and the Vermont Foodbank
Monday, November 30th, 2020 at Putney Meadows (17 Carol Brown Way, Putney, VT). 9:30am-10:15am.
Masks are required.
The Vermont Foodbank will be bringing food to Putney. There will be lots of produce along with other nonperishable food. The Vermont Foodbank truck will park on the side of the road in the big U (Alice Holway Drive). Everyone is welcome. No questions asked!
Drivers: Shoppers will stay in their cars until called. Until further notice, shoppers can pick up for no more than two households. Walkers are welcome as well.
If you have never participated in this before, volunteers will be available to explain how it works!

 

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Everyone Eats! EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 30th, 2020!! 
Monday, November 30th, 2020-Thursday December 3rd, 2020 at the C.F Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 4pm-6pm. Masks required. PLEASE DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY. You can pick up meals for up to three households including your own. If you have any questions visit https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/ or contact Frances Huntley frances@brattleboro.com. Organizational ordering information is listed under our Free and Nutritious Food in Windham County section further along in this email. 
Everyone Eats! is a program which will distribute meals from Brattleboro restaurants to anyone in need who lives in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, or Vernon, free of charge, through December 11th. There will be 850+ meals/day available Monday through Thursday to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pick up for individuals will be at the C.F. Church Building at 80 Flat St in Brattleboro and group/institution orders can be picked up at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro. All meals are available Monday-Thursday between 4pm and 6pm until supplies run out.
If you have extra produce from your garden, there will be a wheelbarrow you can drop it off in on your way out of the pickup site. Participating restaurants will use the donated produce in making more meals.
The meals are free, but if you would like to make a monetary contribution to help make more meals possible for others, it will be gratefully received. The base cost of each meal is $10 but any amount will be appreciated.
Each restaurant will contribute meals two or more days a week. You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for. Meals will be distributed cold, so if you are driving a distance, delivering to other households, or distributing through your organization, consider bringing a cooler if you can.

Everyone Eats! Info From Putney Mutual Aid
Have you taken advantage of Everyone Eats? Here's how Putney folks can participate:
1. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN PUTNEY!!! We will be distributing meals in Putney for curbside pickup on Monday evening. Pick up at the Putney Community Center from 5-5:45. First come, first served. No need for advance reservations. (Be sure to drive up in your car and wait for instructions. We will bring the food to you.)
2. DELIVERY IN PUTNEY!!! Putney Mutual Aid volunteers can deliver a meal to you on Monday evenings -- PM us, comment here or email PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com to make arrangements
3. CURBSIDE PICKUP IN BRATT!! You can journey into Brattleboro (Mon-Thurs, 4-6) to pick up a meal. The program runs through mid-December. (more info in the link below).
4. VOLUNTEER!!! If you are interested in helping with delivery of meals as a volunteer with Putney Mutual Aid, contact us! Comment below, PM or PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com.
Just a reminder... this program is meant to be an economic stimulus as well as an innovative way to address food security. Please feel free to participate and grab a meal! It helps our local restaurants and gives us all delicious food. Putney Food Shelf https://www.brattleboro.com/everyoneeats/.

Everyone Eats! Volunteers Needed
Brattleboro Area Mutual Aid delivers meals for Everyone Eats! during the week and the list of households asking for delivery is growing. Right now there are three individuals who deliver four days a week (yep, someone delivers twice). If you can dedicate 4-6pm one day a week (or even every other week) from now through December to help our neighbors get meals please let Jennifer Jacobs know by emailing her at jennifer@adaptivahr.com or texting her at 802-579-8215.

 

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Covid 19 Pop-Up Testing
Monday, November 30th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)
Monday, November 30th, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT, 05155)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 at Carlos Otis Stratton Mountain Clinic (78 Founders Hill Road, Stratton Mountain, VT 05155) 
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)
Friday, December 4th, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (17 Belmont Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301)
The Health Department recommends testing for people who:
-have symptoms of COVID-19
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have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
-have recently attended an event with people who are not in their usual social circle
-were referred by their health care provider for testing for another reason
-travelers may get tested. If you have traveled to Vermont, you must follow quarantine requirements. You have the option to get a test on or after day 7 of quarantine and end your quarantine early with a negative test result
If you think you should be tested for COVID-19, talk with your health care provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to connect to care or contact the nearest federally qualified health center (link is external) or one of Vermont's free and referral clinics .
If you need testing, there are a variety of options available to you: your primary care provider, pop-up test sites and pharmacies. The Test Site Finder below can help you find other testing near you.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT POP-UP TESTING LOCATIONS
Here are the steps to set up a testing appointment at a pop-up testing site:

  • Register to get an account
  • Receive an email with your patient ID and use that to confirm your account (check your spam folder if you don't see the email)
  • Log in with your patient ID
  • Set up an appointment

Register for Pop-Up Testing Here 

 

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Brattleboro Community Safety Review: Open Listening Session About Mental Health and Policing
facilitated by Malaika Puffer and Kazimer DeWolfe
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, Online. 3pm-5pm.
Zoom link available on the event page at https://fb.me/e/3knQKz1Ex. Email CSRT@protonmail.com to discuss accommodations or for more info. Childcare stipends available as needed to support participation!
You may also share your wisdom and experience in an anonymous survey for all Brattleboro area community members: You can find the survey HERE.

You are invited to an open listening session about mental health and policing for psychiatric survivors, mental health service users, and mad/neurodivergent,/psychiatrically labeled/disabled individuals. Come and share your experiences with community interventions, wellness checks, policing, DCF, emergency holds, and involuntary commitment.
We invite those most impacted to be at the center of this project. That means that people with direct experience in this systems are welcomed to share, and that folx from marginalized communities that experience increased system interaction are especially welcomed to share. This includes members of our community who psychiatrically labeled/disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, survivors, sex workers, undocumented people, folx who have been arrested or incarcerated, and people who have experienced homelessness, involuntary psychiatric treatment, drug use or substance use disorder, poverty, and more.

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Teaching in Solidarity with Black Lives and for the Emancipation of Humans
a Spark Teacher Education Institute training
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Tuesday, January 5th, 2020 and
Tuesday, January 19th, 2020, Online. 4:30pm-6:30pm.
If interested, please fill out this form or contact SparkTeacherEdVT@gmail.com for more information. This is a grant funded, professional learning opportunity. 
Spark Teacher Education Institute will  facilitate online learning communities aimed at building curricula that centers Black lives and equity.  We will co-construct curriculum and interrogate our pedagogy to inform our teaching practices. Through study and reflection we will build upon our experiences and understanding, with the knowledge of others. We will continue to learn together and work towards organizing Black Lives Matters in School week of action.  
You will receive 15 hours of  professional development credits (that includes meetings and independent work).
There will be 3 groups to choose from: Science/Math, Humanities, and Early Childhood/Elementary (for more details see below). 
Spark Teacher Education Institute has been working with teachers for over 20 years to centralize the experiences of working people, women, and people of color, in order to teach against exploitation and build an equitable world for all. Spark Teacher Education Institute was started by Janaki Natarajan and offers teacher certification in Social Justice Education. Teachers learn the social justice pedagogy and connect the world to their classrooms. Participants work side-by-side for an entire year with a skilled mentor teacher, learning to integrate social justice and equity content into the mainstream curriculum. The program strives to instill an understanding of self and others in conjunction with the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and compassion required for creating an equitable and engaging learning environment for all learners.

 

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The Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk
hosted by Vermont Humanities Council and Brooks Memorial Library
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020, Online. 7pm-8pm.
Tickets can be accessed here: https://www.vermonthumanities.org/event/the-legacy-of-nicholas-black-elk-2/.
Historian Damian Costello explores the life of the man behind the famous book Black Elk Speaks. Nicholas Black Elk’s Lakota philosophy can help us see the natural world as a unified whole, and his continued hope amidst great tragedy can inform how we approach contemporary crises.
Damian Costello is a historian and the author of Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism.
This is a free, digital event. Please use the link to register and find additional resources for this session.
Series Underwriter: Chroma Technology Corp.
Statewide Underwriters: Vermont Department of Libraries & Institute of Museum and Library Services

 

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Marlboro Community Food Share
hosted by the Marlboro Community Center
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020, and every Thursday, at the Marlboro Community Center (524 South Road, Marlboro, VT, 05344). 4:30pm-5:30pm.
Every Thursday from 4:30pm-5:30pm the Marlboro Community Center invites you to fill a grocery bag with non-perishables and fresh local produce. No registration or eligibility required. This weekly opportunity is available for anyone who could use an extra bag of groceries or knows someone who does.
Food will be set up in the entry-way to the Marlboro Community Center. For proper social distancing, please enter one person at a time. Bring a grocery bag or use ours. Masks are required. Deliveries will be made through Marlboro Cares for those needing assistance. Please call Marlboro Cares at 258-3030 in advance to arrange a delivery.
To donate food:
Leave non-perishable food in the donation box at the Marlboro Post Office. It will be collected on a weekly-basis. (Please note that this box previously supplied the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry, which is now distributing food exclusively from VT Food Pantry) 
Gardeners and farmers are welcome to donate produce. Wear masks and wash hands when harvesting and handling food. Fresh produce can be dropped off at the Community Center on Thursday between 1pm and 4pm. (Any leftover produce will be taken to FoodWorks the following morning)

 

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Guilford Cares Food Pantry
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 (and every Thursday) at Broad Brook Community Center (3490 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.  If you have questions, concerns or would like to donate groceries or monetary gifts please contact Pat Haine 802-257-0626. For additional questions or more information call 802 579 1350 or email guilfordcaresvt@gmail.com.
The Guilford Cares Food Pantry will continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure food security for all our citizens and vulnerable populations. They are well stocked with the staples you need for your family and are following viral guidelines to limit risk.
They ask that shoppers to remain in their car. A volunteer will greet you and give you a "shopping list" for you to  mark with the items you would like. Another volunteer will fill your bag  and bring it to porch where you will be asked to pick it up. Please  bring a bag for the items and a pen to fill out the shopping list. If you have questions, concerns or would like to donate groceries or monetary gifts please contact Pat Haine 257-0626
If you cannot come to the Pantry due to illness or high risk, you can call also call Pat to arrange for food delivery by a volunteer.
We know that supplemental food can make such a big difference in one's budget. That is why we are stocking our shelves for our neighbors. All are welcome to come and take home fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy.
Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families.

 

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350VT Annual Convergence
presenting sponsor: Seventh Generation
Saturday, December 5th, 2020, Online. 2pm-6 pm
Register here. Donate if you can (sliding scale starting at $0).
Please join 350VT for our Annual Convergence! So much has happened since our last Convergence in 2018, and we look forward to connecting to figure out what we want 2021 to look like. 
This is an opportunity to come together after the election--to celebrate, grieve, collaborate, and nurture our movement for collective liberation and for a livable planet. We’re honored to have Indigenous activist Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset as our keynote speaker who will help inspire our vision for 2021 and beyond. Learn about 350VT’s ongoing work: trainings and workshops, Mother Up! family groups, local nodes, fossil fuel resistance, climate justice solutions, and more!
The Convergence increases our impact by building statewide solidarity between activists, supporters, and organizers in the fight for climate justice. Connect with 350VT and our allies striving to create a just, resilient, and fossil fuel-free world!

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Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, December 5th, 2020 (and every Saturday this Winter) at the C.F. Church Building (80 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm.
Masks are required. COVID19 social distancing directives will be observed during pickup. 
We regret to inform you that the physical market will no longer be open for in-person shopping as of Saturday, November 26th, 2020 due to the increased risks associated with COVID19. We will, however, continue in a curbside pick up model at least through the holidays. At the start of the New Year we'll assess the possiblity of re-opening a "Shop "n Go" market. For the most up to date info on current market practices or other market information go to www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org. 
Our order cycle opens each week at 8AM on the Tuesday morning before a market, and closes at 8PM on Thursday evening so our vendors can pick, pack, bake and make what you are looking for. Our orders will be ready for pick up between 11am-1pm. There will be a $1 fee added for processing debit or credit cards. Just as at the in-person market, this enables us to offer access for those using food benefits. 

Thanks to generous support from C & S grocers, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Brattleboro Savings & Loan and Post Oil Solutions, they will be adding a new match for customers using SNAP/EBT. Similar to the Crop Cash program, the "Boost your Bread" will help put more healthy local food on the tables of those who receive SNAP/EBT benefits, while supporting local farmers, bakers and other food producers at the winter market. With both Crop Cash and Boost your Bread, $10 will be triple your buying power, allowing you to purchase $30 worth of food at the market.
For more information, visit their website at https://www.brattleborowinterfarmersmarket.org

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Public Hearing: Renaming Negro Brook
hosted by Restorative Remapping Project
Tuesday, December 8th, 2020, Online. 10am.
Zoom link: https://libraries.vermont.gov/about_us/board
A petition to rename Negro Brook in the Townshend State Forest to Susanna Toby Brook will be heard. There will be opportunity for public comment on the proposal.
We invite all of our supporters who have championed renaming Negro Brook along the way to join us and support this petition's final thrust over the finish line.
LEARN more about Susanna Toby and her husband James Huzzy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1oPvMd2jcI
Lecture given by Dr. Elise Guyette, author of Discovering Black Vermont.

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Red Cross Blood Drive at NECCA
Monday, December 21st, 2020 at NECCA (10 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12:30pm-5pm.
Give the gift of life! It's easy and so worth while. There are lots of protocols in place to make sure it's very safe with limited appointments, required masks, and on-site temperature checks. Find more info and schedule a time here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time 

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Youth Essay Contest

Sanders Announces Eleventh Annual State of the Union Essay Contest
The deadline for student essay submissions is Jan. 12, 2021. More information can be found on Sanders’ Senate webpage at https://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion or by calling (800) 339-9834.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has launched his eleventh annual State of the Union essay contest.
Each January, the President of the United States delivers the “State of the Union” address to a joint session of Congress, which outlines priorities for the coming year. Because Senator Sanders knows that great ideas can come from everyone – not just those in power – and wants to encourage young people to become engaged in the political process, he created the State of the Union Essay Contest.  The contest is an opportunity for Vermont high school students to describe a major issue facing our country and propose what they would do to solve it.
The 250-500 word essays can be on any issue of national importance. A volunteer panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays on the students’ ability to articulate an issue and propose a solution, without regard to the students’ political views. Senator Sanders will enter the essays of the ten finalists into the Congressional Record – the official archive of the U.S. Congress.
“I started this essay contest 11 years ago to help our students be actively engaged, no matter where they stand on the issues,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee. “This year, our state and nation face a health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a renewed fight for racial justice. Many of you have seen family members struggle because of lost wages or health concerns, you have been asked to learn online, and you face a future that may feel uncertain. To my mind, the unprecedented nature of this time makes it more important than ever to hear perspectives and innovative ideas from you, our young people.”
More than 4,600 students from high schools throughout Vermont have written essays in the past ten years about critically important issues, including climate change, access to mental health care, the rising cost of college, and much, much more. Last year, Isabelle Hiller from Woodstock Union High School was selected as the winner from 536 submissions for her essay on criminal justice reform.

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

LGTBQIA+ Resources via Out in the Open

Out in the Open is offering a lot of resources & virtual spaces for rural LGBTQ folks in this time, friends. The full list and calendar is on our website hereWe have a Community Care Offers & Asks list, and a list of Rural New England Mutual Aid opportunities, with specific resource links for LGBTQ and QTPOC folks. Out in the Open also has a Slack channel for rural LGBTQ folks to share resources and connect outside of social media. Email info@weareoutintheopen.org for more information.

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How the Heck are You(th)? Needs Assessment 2.0 from Out in the Open
It’s still 2020 (can you believe?) and the world is changing all the time. There’s stress, chaos, joy, community, isolation, and a whole lot of zoom-fatigue. Youth are at the center of all of it, and we want to know: How the heck are you??
Are you 19 or younger? Click here to fill out a short survey to let us know how you’re feeling, how you’re connecting to support (or not), and what barriers are getting in your way.
This information will give us better ideas of how to support you and connect you with resources that might help, and help us explain to communities and program partners what is happening for LGBTQ youth right now.
Any information shared outside the organization will be completely anonymous, and you can always ask us if you have questions. If you leave a mailing address, we’ll send you a $30 Visa gift card just for filling out the form!
Supportive adults: This is a needs assessment we are trying to get into Vermont LGBTQ+ youth hands. Help us spread the word: We’re especially trying to reach youth in rural areas of Vermont and places that have less reliable internet access. Any extra effort to help reach rural youth would be AMAZING! We’re happy to mail a hard copy if you find a youth who can only access it that way. Just let us know at info@weareoutintheopen.org

 

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120 Birge Street Collective
The 120 Birge St.  collective is a group of local artist/musician/poets/builders etc that have been sharing a collective art/music space in one of the old Estey buildings. It has been a wild year; Winter is on it's way and although there are so many causes we all need to be giving to in this world, we could definitely use a bit of help to keep our space alive and come out the other side of this all ready to host and promote and foster and keep the lights and heat on! People can donate via Venmo @minions. Thanks for your consideration/support!

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Social Justice Resources

ROOT SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTER MUTUAL AID & SUPPORTIVE NETWORK
The Root Social Justice Center is collecting a list of contacts and resources to help support and assist with the needs of their Root community members. Join if you are in need or are able to help.

RURAL RACIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZING STUDY GROUP TOOLKIT FROM LOST RIVER RACIAL JUSTICE AND OUT IN THE OPEN
     Exciting new resource available to rural communities and beyond who are fighting for racial justice. Lost River Racial Justice and Out in the Open have put together this Rural Racial Justice Organizing Study Group Toolkit to support communities in running their own study groups.
Find the full toolkit on our website here: weareoutintheopen.org/zines--toolkits, link to PDF HERE.
     This toolkit was crafted and created in 2018 and revised after our 2019 Rural Racial Justice Organizing Study Group. The toolkit was created as an act of love by many individuals within our community and in collaboration with The Root Social Justice Center.
    We are releasing this resource now, in early Fall 2020, after years in the making, fueled from the global uprisings for Black Lives Matter and a global pandemic raging across the globe, which disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people. We continue to mourn the murders of Black trans folks, cis Black women, and cis Black men. We build on the collective outrage, and inspiration of global uprisings for Black Lives with the release of this toolkit to support continued organizing in rural communities and all communities.
     This is the long haul work. This Toolkit and Study Group are intended to take time and intention. In a moment where there is the call to action, for white people to do work in dismantling white supremacy, this Toolkit allows a framework for deep learning, conversation, and commitment to engage in rural racial justice work for the long haul, not just in a specific moment.
     We are sharing this widely as an invitation to use this toolkit as a framework and guideline for supporting the development organizing and continued education opportunities within your rural communities.

 

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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

NEW COVID 19 STATEWIDE GUIDELINES  Effective Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm

TRAVEL: All non-essential travel to and from Vermont now requires quarantine. Vermonters should limit non-essential travel.
PREVENTION: People from different households should not gather. Stay home when you're sick (and even when you're not sick) and check out these prevention tips.
TESTING: Learn who should get tested and find testing locations throughout Vermont. (More information on Brattleboro testing locations is located in this email)
MULTIPLE HOUSEHOLD SOCIAL GATHERINGS SUSPENDED: Attendance at all public and private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including large social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, shall be limited to participation with only members of a single household. For the sake of clarity, nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same residence. Individuals who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family residing in a different household.
CONTACT TRACING COMPLIANCE: To preserve the public health and safety, to ensure the health and safety of the State, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Vermonters are directed to comply with requests made by the VDH Contact Tracing Team.
RECREATIONAL SPORTS: All recreational sports programs, including organized and/or informal recreational youth and adult league sports, practices, games and tournaments, are hereby suspended. This suspension shall not apply to school-sponsored sports activities which are subject to applicable Agency of Education Guidance.
RETURNING COLLEGE STUDENTS: All students who are returning home from a college or university, in-state or out of state, shall quarantine at home for fourteen days, with a test for COVID-19 strongly encouraged, or quarantine for no less than seven (7) days at which time they must be tested for COVID- 19.
TELEWORK: All businesses, not-for-profit entities and municipal government entities in the State shall reinstitute, to the maximum extent possible, or reemphasize to the extent necessary, telecommuting or work from home procedures. In person meetings are strongly discouraged and all meetings should be held by telephone or electronically to avoid in person meetings whenever possible.
BARS AND SOCIAL CLUBS: Closed to in-person service beginning Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at 10pm. Curbside and delivery services are allowed.
RESTAURANTS: Restaurants must close in-person dining at 10pm, but may provide curbside and delivery service after 10pm. For in-person dining, restaurants must seat only one household per table, in accordance with existing capacity limits and the new restriction on multi-household gatherings.

IN CASE YOU NEED SUPPORT: www.CovidSupportVT.org is offering a wellness Zoom group every Tuesday at 1pm and 5pm. These Zooms will feature self-care strategies for coping and relaxing. The Zoom link is available on their website. 

 

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CURRENT COVID19 CASE INFORMATION

Due to the holiday this week, the next weekly update will be on December 4th, 2020.

Vermont logged its 4,000th case of Covid-19 this week, officials said at Gov. Phil Scott’s press conference Friday. A significant number of Vermont’s cases have come in just the past three weeks: More than 44% of the state’s 4,005 total cases were reported in November, state data show

Officials reported 72 cases of the virus on Wednesday and 99 Thursday as Vermonters celebrated Thanksgiving this week.

Three additional deaths were reported on Friday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 67. 

Scott began the press conference by recognizing the Vermonters who died this week. One of those deaths occured at a long-term care facility, one in a resident’s home, and one in a hospital, officials said. Those who died ranged in age from 76 to 91. 

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Vermont Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program
     The Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program provides eligible Vermont households with a credit to assist with Internet service subscriptions. Residential account holders who have suffered an economic hardship due to COVID-19 and require high-speed Internet services for a qualifying need may receive a temporary credit of up to $40 per month toward an Internet service subscription. 
     Applicants must attest to needing an Internet subscription for remote work, distance learning or telehealth services. 
     You'll need to provide the account number, service address and the account holder's name in order to apply. You'll also need to have a copy of the bill AND upload a copy of the bill in the online application. You'll register first, then complete an application. Once you complete your application, check your email inbox and junk mail for your user login and password so you can keep track of your application going forward. Keep in mind this may take several minutes.            
     Once you have received your user login and password, you may log into your application. 
     Payments under the program can be applied retroactively to March 1 (for already-established accounts), through December 20, 2020. You must apply before November 30, 2020. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funding runs out or the program ends in December. 
     Funds for this program were made available from the federal CARES Act, and made available through the State of Vermont Coronavirus Relief Fund. Limited funding is available. 
     Questions? Call your Internet service provider for more information. 

 

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Vermont Covid 19 Arrearage Assistance Program
     Vermonters suffering economic hardship due to loss of income from COVID-19 can get help now to pay their arrearages (money owed) for residential and non-residential accounts. The Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage Assistance Program (VCAAP) provides financial support to customers who may face disconnection of service because of past-due balances for their electric, landline telephone, Vermont Gas, private water or water and sewer/wastewater charges.
     Note: the program has expanded and now accepts applications for help with municipal water and sewer/wastewater departments, community water systems, fire districts, and other systems that provide water and sewer/wastewater services to consumers.
     You must apply by December 15th, 2020. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funding runs out or the program ends in December.
Funds for this program were made available through the federal CARES Act and the State of Vermont Coronavirus Relief Fund. There is limited funding. 
     Questions? The Department has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions. You can also call your utility to ask questions; contact your local Vermont Community Action Agency, or contact the Department's Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) Division at 1-800-622-4496, via email at psd.consumer@vermont.gov, or through CAPI's online form.

 

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Money for Past-Due Rent in Vermont During the COVID-19 Crisis
If you need help paying your rent and you have a very low income, call 211. Otherwise, contact your landlord and apply together for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program.
For help with past-due rent, Vermonters should apply for the Rental Housing Stabilization Program through the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA). VSHA is accepting applications from landlords and tenants, and paying landlords directly to bring the tenant’s rent account current UNTIL DECEMBER 11th, 2020!! 
The program pays up to the VSHA payment standards. If the landlord wants payment, the landlord must agree to waive rent amounts in excess of the payment standard for all the months paid for. 
When the landlord accepts the money they have to promise to: 

  • drop any eviction 
  • not start a new eviction for the same number of months (up to six months) in the future as the money pays for
  • not raise the rent before January 1, 2021, or the end of your lease term — whichever is later, and 
  • make sure the unit is up to code in 30 days.

Important: VSHA has to have applications from both the landlord and the tenant. You should talk to your landlord and agree on the amount you owe. Make sure that amount is on both applications. Apply for this rent help on the VSHA website. If you need help with your landlord, an eviction, or applying for the rent help, contact us at Vermont Legal Aid.

 

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Free In-Home Covid19 Testing
sponsored by United Way of Windham County
People who are in need of a covid test and do not have transportation should call VT Public Transit at 802-442-0629 or toll free at 1-833-387-7200. VT Transit will contact your provider to confirm and get necessary info. They are using an ambulance service thru VT Department of Health which will do FREE IN-HOME testing and then transport your specimen to a local lab. VT Transit takes initial info and contacts the local EMS and VDH.

 

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Guidance for Returning College Students During Covid19

-If you are a college student coming home to Vermont for a break or holiday, you must quarantine for 14 days, once you arrive. If you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, the quarantine period may be shortened by having a test on or after day 7 of quarantine, though you must continue to quarantine until you receive a negative test result.
-If you are a Vermonter picking up a student from an out-of-state college, you and the student will need to quarantine for 14 days when you come back to Vermont.
-If you have not had symptoms of COVID-19, you have the option to get a PCR test on day 7 and end your quarantine with a negative test result.
-It is recommended that the student quarantine separate from the family, use a different bathroom, eat separately and wear a mask inside.
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School and Child Care Guidance
Strong and Healthy Start: Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools
Mental Health: A Strong and Healthy Start: Social, Emotional and Mental Health Supports During COVID-19
Child care: Health Guidance for Child Care and Out of School Care

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES, DURING COVID 19:

What if you are isolated (or quarantined) with your abuser? Reach out for the help you need. Law enforcement is continuing to respond to calls. Hotlines and shelters will remain open. Contact the Vermont Network for more information about your local organization.

  • Vermont Network(link is external)
  • Vermont Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-228-7395
  • Vermont Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-489-7273
  • LGBTQ+ Survivor Support-line: 802-863-0003
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • If you’re unable to speak safely: Log onto thehotline.org(link is external) or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • If you are in an emergency situation: Call 911

 

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Statewide Mutual Aid
organized by Brenda for Vermont
Localized Mutual Aid has been organized in Brattleboro and Putney and hyper local neighborhoods in Marlboro.  If your community does not have mutual aid or you can't find it, please sign up to volunteer or if you are in need of help.  All of us will likely be on the side of being able to help and needing help at times.  Please don't hesitate to ask for help.
Sign up here if you would like to help your neighbors or are in need of help:https://www.brendaforvermont.com/cms/help-your-neighbor/
The links below will take you directly to the mutual aid forms. 
To Volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkRnbDKtNX_SacVaHWPyIAnsSXDGLsDMZE8vys25nzTgUo5A/viewform
If You Need Help: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfw7gg12KNq6n4s7SDUxf1ghMx-0MD3S0RCWQtxqmPTJQI8QA/viewform

 

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Online Religious Services

All Souls U.U. Sunday Services
Sunday Mornings at 10am. 
To get the current information on an upcoming service or vespers check the All Souls web page at www.ascvt.org.

 

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FREE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD IN WINDHAM COUNTY

Brigid’s Kitchen, St. Michael’s Church, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro 802-254-6800 or 802-558-6072 
Grab-and-go lunches and fruit/nuts on Mon, Weds, Thus, and Sat, 11:30am-12:20pm.

Loaves and Fishes, Centre Congregational Church 193 Main Street, Brattleboro (802) 254-4730
Grab-and-go lunches on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm.

VT Foodbank and Veggie Van Go
will be at Brattleboro Union High School (Fairground Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the parking lot, on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, from 10am-11:30am. Drive up, touchless pickup. Walkers welcome, too. Call VT 211 for more information. 

Foodworks, the food shelf program of the Groundworks Collaborative https://groundworksvt.org (802) 490-2412, ccolascione@GroundworksVT.org 
Households in need of food are asked to call or email to coordinate delivery. There is an urgent need for volunteers, and Foodworks has set up protocols to keep staff, volunteers, and clients as safe as possible. Please email us at volunteer@GroundworksVT.org if you are able to help.

Guilford Food Pantry 
Every Thursday at the BBCC (3940 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.
We know that supplemental food can make such a big difference in one's budget. That is why we are stocking our shelves for our neighbors. All are welcome to come and take home fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy. Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families.

NEW: “Everyone Eats!” Food Relief Program Information

If you have questions, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com
What is this? Everyone Eats!, a food relief pilot program in Brattleboro, leverages federal relief funds to engage local restaurants in making to-go meals for anyone in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, or Putney whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other financial challenges. With eight Brattleboro restaurants, Monday through Thursday, through December 30th, 2020.
When? Monday – Thursday 4pm-6pm
Where?  Individuals/households will be able to pick up meals in the parking lot of the Church Building on Flat Street on a first-come-first-served basis. Organizations will be able to pick up pre-ordered meals at Mama Sezz in West Brattleboro.
Who is eligible? Anyone whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other challenges to well-being who would get relief from receiving meals may participate.
For Individuals
When and where can I receive meals? Meal distribution for individuals is first-come-first-served. Pickup is from 4-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in downtown Brattleboro (location TBA).
Is it free? All who would benefit from a meal are welcome to participate.
Can I give something back to help the program? There is no obligation to pay it back or forward. If what you have to offer in return is your thanks, that’s enough. But if you can share veggies from your garden, there will be a drop-off location on site for bagged or boxed contributions; as much as possible will be used in future meals. And if you would like to make a monetary contribution to help make more meals possible for others, it will be gratefully received. The base cost of each meal is $10 but any amount will be appreciated. Touch-free options for donation include Venmo, Paypal, mailing a check, or providing a donation at the time of pickup.
What will I receive? You will receive one individually packaged cold ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinner for each person you request a meal for.
Do you have vegetarian or vegan/GF options? Yes, you will request your meal choice at the time of pickup.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can get? You can request one meal per person per day for each person in your household. Please note that there is a limit to how many meals will be produced each day. We hope to serve everyone who makes a request but we cannot guarantee it. Meals will be first-come-first-served.
Can I pick up meals for another household? Yes, you can pick up meals for up to three households including your own.
Will my meals be hot or cold? Meals will be distributed cold, so if you are driving a distance, delivering to other households, or distributing through your organization, consider bringing a cooler if you can.
For Organizations
As a representative of an organization, can I request meals on behalf of my clients? Yes. We invite organizations to do bulk pickups for distribution to those they serve.
Is there a limit to how many meals I can pick up? No, but you will need to reserve meals in advance each week using this form.
What will I receive? You will receive individually packaged COLD ready-to-eat or heat & serve dinners for each person you are willing to distribute a meal to.
What options are available? You will choose how many of each type of meal (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan/GF) and which days you will pick up meals for distribution.
Who will be making the food? These meals are being made by independently-owned local restaurants.
Will I need to pick up our meals, or will you deliver to my location? You will need to pick up your requested meals and distribute them to your clients. We cannot deliver them to you.
When and where do I pick up my meals? Pickup for organizations is from 4pm-6pm on weekdays Monday through Thursday in West Brattleboro at Mama Sezz, 127 Marlboro Rd.
How do I request meals for bulk pickup? Organizations must submit their request forms two weeks before the first distribution week and one week before the second, third, and fourth distribution weeks. To get more information about participating and request a form for the first week, contact Frances Huntley at frances@brattleboro.com.
Will I receive a confirmation? After your meal request form is received, you will receive an automated email via Google Forms.
When do you need my form by? Meal request forms must be submitted by the Thursday prior to the week they are for (except for the first week, which must be submitted two weeks prior). You will need to submit a new form each week. If you have already received meals in a prior week, you will receive an email reminder for later weeks.

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Food Discount Programs

Food Resources at Brattleboro Food Coop 
Our Shareholder Assistance Grant supports community members who could not otherwise afford to be a Shareholder at the Co-op. It covers $60 of the $80 cost of a Brattleboro Co-op Share. By joining the Co-op and paying the remaining $20 over the course of a year, a community member can enjoy all the benefits of being a Co-op Shareholder and qualify for our 10% Food for All discount. https://www.brattleborofoodcoop.coop/join/become-a-shareholder/shareholder-assistance-grant/

Food for All is our needs-based discount program. It gives eligible Shareholders a 10% discount on all food at the Co-op, with a few exceptions (such as alcohol). Food for All can apply to anyone that fits the criteria - WIC, 3 Squares Vermont, SSI, EBT, referral letter from a local organization. https://www.brattleborofoodcoop.coop/shop/food-for-all-program/ 

Contact the Shareholder Services department at the Brattleboro Food Co-op for assistance at 802-246-2821 or Shareholders@brattleborofoodcoop.coop

 

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Vermont WIC is Responding to Covid 19
We are moving to phone appointments to align with social distancing efforts. If you have opted in to email and text notifications, you will receive important program updates, including information about local office hours and changes in operations. Our website will be kept up-to-date as well. Contact your local office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition or shopping. Call 1-800-649-4357 or email WIC@Vermont.gov with any questions about WIC nutrition services and enrollment.

P-EBT (Pandemic EBT) is Available in VT
Many families in Vermont were notified that they would be receiving a food benefit called Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT). P-EBT is loaded on a card and can be used to purchase the groceries at many grocers and farmers markets. If you have school-aged kids, contact your school district to apply for free school meals. If approved, you'll automatically receive P-EBT. 
If you’ve already received P-EBT and also participate in WIC, use your WIC benefits first, as WIC benefits do not rollover month-to-month. dcf.vermont.gov/press-releases/P-EBT

 

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Business Grants Available

SEVCA Microbusiness Grants Available
Grants are available for microbusinesses impacted by COVID19. Eligible business owners may apply for grant up to $5000 through the EMBRACE micro business direct grant program. More information is available at  https://sevca.org/economic-development/micro-business-development, or you may contact Denise Mason, Director of Economic Development, dmason@sevca.org or 800-464-9951.

 

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ADDITIONAL COVID 19 RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND AT THEIR PERMANENT HOME ON OUR WEBSITE, HERE: https://www.wecantogether.net/covid19_resources

 

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN

Rapid Response Text Alert System

When WeCAN began, Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

  

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM. To stream live, visit: www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353

 

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  Once again, thank you for all that you do for our shared community. Until we see each other again...

Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,

Joanna and Sam