The Green Mountain State emergency meal program that helps Vermonters fighting food insecurity, along with restaurateurs and farmers, has been granted a three-month reprieve.

Vermont Everyone Eats was going to expire this coming Saturday, on New Year’s Day. However, it’s been extended through the beginning of April instead.

Southeastern Vermont Community Action operates the program, which pays restaurants to use ingredients from Vermont farms to cook healthy meals. Those meals are then distributed, free of charge, to anyone who wishes to have them; there are no income eligibility restrictions.

Vermont Everyone Eats was launched in August 2020 with $5 million from the federal CARES Act; that funding sustained the program through the middle of last December.

Since then, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development has covered the program’s costs and has been reimbursed by FEMA for doing so.