Community Resources to Help You Thrive during COVID-19.
As Vermonters hunker down to stop the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the burden on our healthcare system, we all have to adjust to this strange new normal. With the Governor’s "stay home, stay safe" order, all non-essential businesses have closed their doors, and most events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, many businesses have modified their services to be accessible remotely. Vermont musicians are turning to livestream platforms to replace the concerts they would have previously headlined. Yoga studios are using video conferencing software to continue holding classes. Online delivery services from big and small companies alike are ramping up their shipping capability to serve the ever-increasing demand for online orders. Even grocery delivery has been made possible across Vermont.
With so many resources out there, it is difficult to keep track of what is available. We’ve compiled a list of local and national resources that may help you live your life as fully as you did before, but from the comfort of your own home.
The Burlington Paint and Sip Studio has moved their fun classes to Facebook Live, where you can follow along in real-time with your favorite painters. Even better, you can order wine online from companies like One Hope Wine. Looking for something a little more interesting? The Cork Restaurant & Wine Shop in Stowe is taking wine orders over the phone. Call 802-760-6143 to place your order. Other Vermont restaurants can also now sell wine, beer, and spirits for off-site consumption.
Local artist Jason Clarke has been doing daily drawing tutorials on his Twitch channel. Previously, you could see his artwork in Capitol Grounds in Montpelier and Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville. Now you can learn to draw at 10:00 AM, every day of the week!
Do you or your kids like to play board games? Tabletop Simulator and Jackbox Games are great options for playing board games remotely. Classic games like Uno and Monopoly are also available on digital platforms and can be played on your phone or tablet. Just search your app store for your favorite title, and you’re likely to find it! If you are an iPhone user, GamePigeon is a great choice for playing games with a bunch of people at once, without having to install another app.
If you love live music, many artists are now livestreaming their concerts online. Check out the Twitch category “Music and the Performing Arts” for more. If you’re interested in Vermont artists specifically, the Burlington Free Press has compiled a great list of online performances specific to this region. For example, Burlington singer-keyboard player Joshua Glass performs on his Facebook page at 6:30 PM daily.
Looking for something even wilder? These are 12 virtual Disneyland rides that you can enjoy at home. Explore.org has a number of livestreams of animals, both in zoos and in the wild, for you to enjoy. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden also has some awesome Home Safari Tours, which they stream live on Facebook. If you don’t have Facebook, you can view those streams after they are done.
Health and Wellness
Although it is possible to go outside and get some exercise while still maintaining six feet of separation, many of us are used to group fitness. Many yoga studios have started using Facebook Live or Zoom to conduct their classes. Queen City Yoga in Burlington is one option with free livestreams nearly every day. Studio Zenith in Montpelier is teaching classes online. You can signup and pay for access on their website. One of our own VSECU employees, Christina Morris, has been sharing free yoga tips from her home. Check out Yoga with Stina on Facebook.
If you take protein, vitamin, or collagen supplements, you can order those through Take Care Of, a unique service that tailors a specific health plan for you, using their online quiz. They focus on effective, bio-available, and sustainable ingredients. You can even see where each of their ingredients originates by using their supply chain transparency report.
Food and Home
Most important is keeping you and your family well fed and healthy. Ordering food and supplies online is one way to avoid the crowds at the grocery store. Plus, online shelves are often stocked before physical stores.
Hunger Free Vermont has a bevy of useful resources for those impacted by COVID-19. If you're a parent and rely on access to school lunches, school districts across Vermont have arranged for food delivery or grab-n-go pickup. According to Lola Duffort, an education report for VTDigger, every single school district in Vermont is providing school lunches to families in one form or another.
Hunger Free Vermont also has a list of resources that detail how subsidized food programs like WIC and 3SquaresVT are dealing with COVID-19. If you or anybody you know is struggling to find food, these are valuable resources.
Need to get baby food? Little Spoon and Yumi are great options for ordering online. Little Spoon provides organic, fresh food that can be delivered every other week and is personalized to your baby’s dietary needs. Yumi has partnered with Feeding America to donate one meal to those in need every time you purchase.
But what about you? Daily Harvest is a meal subscription service that specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables. You can get smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls, and much more. They take minutes to prepare and are based on organic and sustainable ingredients.
Many local supermarkets and food co-ops are providing call-ahead service. You can place your order over then phone and drive up to receive your groceries. This means you’re able to get the supplies you need, support local a business, and remain physically distant from others. Call your local grocery stores for more information.
Imperfect Food is a grocery delivery service that helps reduce food waste. You can get fresh ingredients that may have been passed over by the national supermarket chains. Normally, this food would just go into a landfill, but these imperfectly shaped foods with perfect flavor can now be delivered to you for up to 30% less than other food subscription options.
Have you heard of Instacart? It allows you to shop at stores like CVS, Petco, Price Chopper, Tops, and Shaws from the comfort of your home. You shop for everything you need in an app and then it is delivered to your door for a low fee. Same-day delivery may be available in your area!
Looking to eat something prepared by your favorite local restaurant? The Seven Days has made a directory of takeout options across the state. This is awesome because it is easy, fast, and safe. Plus, it supports the restaurants in your area who may be struggling to pay their employees.
- CNET has a list of the best meal kit delivery services of 2020.
- CNET has a list of the best pet food delivery services.
- Montpelier Alive has a guide to local Montpelier retail shops offering online shopping.
- If you are in the Northeast Kingdom, the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative has a list of resources specific to that region.
- Need cleaning supplies for your home? Grove Collaborative allows you to subscribe to a care package for your home.
- Help cloth children in need with The Swoondle Society. A $99 donation provides clothes to 10 families for one season.
Got any other other resources? Send them to us on Facebook and we’ll update this blog post to include them whenever we can.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of VSECU.
About Oliver Ames
Oliver is VSECU's social media strategist and spends most of his day engaging with members through our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram profiles. He has a background in science education, non-profit fundraising, business communication, media production, and membership-based organizations. When not at work, Oliver spends much of his time with his wife and their little dog Butterscotch at their home in Montpelier.