SEVCA Seeking Community Input on Forming New Community Health Equity Group in Greater Springfield

SEVCA is forming a new group that will have the opportunity to fund the work of community organizations addressing the health equity challenge of its choosing. We invite the public to join us virtually on June 30th at 5 pm to learn about this opportunity and to provide feedback on forming the group and taking the work forward. 

SEVCA has been contracted by the VT Public Health Institute (VtPHI) to facilitate the new Community Health Equity Partnership (CHEP) for the Springfield Health District through at least May of 2023. The Springfield CHEP is one of 12 partnerships statewide, which will assist the Vermont Department of Health to meet the goals of the CDC Grant to Address Health Disparities – specifically to “mobilize partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved.”  

As a part of this work, SEVCA will convene, facilitate, and support a Learning Collaborative which will decide upon a health equity challenge the community is facing, and distribute about $150,000 in low barrier grant funding to community organizations addressing that challenge. This effort will be community-led, and the Learning Collaborative will decide upon its own vision, process, and goals for this work.  

We are currently in the process of hearing from community members and local service providers about how they would like to approach this work and form the Learning Collaborative. Want to learn more? Have ideas to share? Join us for our virtual information and feedback session on Thursday, June 30th from 5 – 6:15 pm. More information/registration available here and event flyer available here. Not able to join us but interested in learning more or sharing your ideas? Watch this quick video and share your feedback via this form.

Please contact Kelsea Burch, Health Equity Network Development Specialist, with any questions, feedback or to express your interest in getting involved: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-464-9951 ext. 1107. 

VT Legislature Supports Continuation of Vermont Everyone Eats Beyond July 1st

Thanks to a $1.3 million allocation included by Vermont legislators in the final version of bill S.11, signed by Governor Scott on June 8th, the groundbreaking Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE) program now has the necessary funding to continue to leverage FEMA support in providing COVID relief for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and meal participants.

Everyone Eats is an innovative, multi-sector COVID relief program providing economic support to local restaurants, economic benefit to farmers, and restaurant-prepared meals for food-insecure Vermonters negatively impacted by COVID. All three pillars of the program —
restaurants, farmers, and eaters — continue to benefit significantly from the relief this program provides.

“Kudos to the many supporters in the state legislature who worked tirelessly to make this allocation possible.The innovation and impact of VEE means $1 will be spent many times over, statewide. This is strong, sound policy in its ability to triply serve economic resilience in small businesses, the economic health of agriculture and food producers, and the hardest hit members of our community,” said Stephanie Bonin, Executive Director of the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance and Program Director for the Brattleboro Everyone Eats Hub.

In July 2020, the Vermont legislature enacted the Restaurants and Farmers Feeding the Hungry program "to provide assistance to Vermonters who are food insecure due to the COVID-19 public health emergency by engaging Vermont restaurants that have suffered economic harm due to [this] emergency to prepare meals using foodstuffs purchased from Vermont farms and food producers." This initiative, known as Vermont Everyone Eats, has provided over 2.4 million meals since it began in August 2020.

Participating restaurants are required to use a minimum of 10% local ingredients grown or produced in Vermont, with many far exceeding that minimum, for a program-wide average of 35% local ingredients. Over 260 restaurants and over 300 farmers have benefited from the program, which currently distributes 30,000 meals/week through 11 community hubs. Beginning July 1, 2022, FEMA’s COVID relief funding will shift from 100% federal funding to 90/10 federal cost-share. The new allocation of state funding provides the 10% non-federal match for Vermont Everyone Eats to continue for no more than one year, as long as there is both a federal pandemic emergency and a COVID-related need within the state.The program has brought over $31M of federal revenue into the state to date.

For more information on the program, to find out how to access local meals, or to request the inclusion of a restaurant in this program, visit the Vermont Everyone Eats website at

SEVCA closes Hartford Good Buy Store to focus on underserved areas in the region

Hartford area Thrift Store Market is Thriving

Hartford and the White River Junction/Lebanon area have seen a boom in vintage clothing and consignment options, and expansion of thrift and home goods market over the past few years. With such great options for shoppers of all income levels, SEVCA’s Good Buy Thrift Store in Hartford will close permanently on May 20th. Good Buy locations in both Bellows Falls and Springfield will remain open. SEVCA continues to provide services in the White River area at our outreach office, located at 222 Holiday Drive, Suite 21, White River Junction, Vermont.   
According to SEVCA’s Executive Director Kevin Brennan, “SEVCA’s three Good Buy Thrift Stores (Bellows Falls, Springfield, and Hartford) have thrived under the direction of Darline Rhoades. Darline’s commitment to our clients has ensured that Upper Valley residents have been able to access high quality items at the stores. In a real way, the closure of the Good Buy Thrift Store in Hartford can also be seen as a success, for, as an economic development strategy, the area now has multiple other thrift store options that provide sufficient resources to serve the community of Hartford with high quality and affordable goods.”  
SEVCA’s Good Buy Thrift Store program utilizes donations from community members and offers low-cost clothing and home goods with that service provided in communities of greatest need that do not have other comparable options available. With the recent influx of retail thrift and consignment options located in the White River/Lebanon area, and with the expansion of our partner agency, Listen Community Services Thrift Stores, located in White River VT, Lebanon and Canaan NH, SEVCA will focus attention and resources on both our Springfield and Bellows Falls locations with an eye to enhance and perhaps expand store offerings in those locations. Community members can continue to support SEVCA’s Good Buy Thrift Stores by making donations of home goods, new and gently used children's clothing and shoes, and adult clothing.  
For information about all of SEVCA’s programs and services, and to get help navigating and accessing available resources, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (800) 464-9951.  All of SEVCA’s services, and the vast majority, if not all, of the services SEVCA will refer you to or help you access, are provided free-of-charge to all eligible individuals and households. 

SEVCA Offering a Free Workshop Series on Money Management in June

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support, and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by COVID who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and time for June 2022:

Workshop 1: Wednesday, June 1: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 2: Wednesday, June 8: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 3: Wednesday, June 15: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 4: Wednesday, June 22: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget

Date: June 1: 6pm - 7pm

Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and they often do (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.), it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use one, and create and review a budget step by step.

Workshop 2: Manage Your Expenses - Set Your Goals

Date: June 8: 6pm - 7pm

After creating a budget, the next step is to review the expenses then identify goals. Goal examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll cover lowering expenses, increasing income, learning what to do with bills you can’t pay, and using strategies to achieve goals.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast

Date: June 15: 6pm - 7pm

Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.

Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money

Date: June 22: 6pm - 7pm

Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and identity theft.

SEVCA Offering a Free “Ready for Work” Workshop Series in May

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a free Ready for Work workshop series. These 3 workshops provide training, support, and resources to help participants entering or returning to the workforce. Workshop topics include: creating a resume, customizing a cover letter to fit the job, searching for a job, and tips for a successful job interview.

Workshops are free and open to all Vermont residents. Sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 workshops. SEVCA provides handouts, resources, and support before and after the workshops. SEVCA also provides a gift card incentive to Vermont residents from Windham and Windsor Counties who attend all 3 workshops.

Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ready for Work Workshop Series – May 2022

· Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop 5/11/22 6pm - 7pm

· Workshop 2: Cover Letter and Job Search 5/18/22 6pm - 7pm

· Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 2/25/22 6pm - 7pm

Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop 5/11/22 6pm-7pm

One of the most important steps in the job search process is writing a solid resume. Participants will learn how to create or update their resume by representing their interests, experiences, skills, and abilities using action keywords, and interpersonal skills words in a clear, readable and noticeable style. Resume support from the instructor provided before and after the workshop.

Workshop 2: Cover Letters & Job Search 5/18/22 6pm-7pm

Participants will learn how to create and customize a cover letter to introduce themselves and present their skills and interests based on a job posting. We’ll use several online sources to search for open positions, research potential employers, compare options and learn how to apply for a job online.

Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 5/25/22 6pm-7pm

Participants will learn how to prepare for and be successful in job interviews. We’ll review tips to prepare for the interview, common job interview mistakes to avoid, how to promote your skills and interests, how to learn more about the employer, plus how to follow up after the interview.

“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”

UNICEF "The State of the Children" (1995)