BRATTLEBORO, VT — A fixture of autumn in southeast Vermont, the Empty Bowls fundraiser for the food shelf at Groundworks Collaborative will look very different this year. This is the 17th year organizers have come together to raise funds for the food shelf now known as Foodworks.
And how are you holding up? Now that we know we are running a marathon of indeterminate length, the stress of adjustment has a different feel. However, along with resignation, regret, and concern, we have discovered new ways to minister to ourselves, and also to harness some of that concern and anger into action.
Beer brewing and its recipes were first noted on scrolls dating as far back as 5000 BC. The process and flavors progressed during the Middle Ages throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia up to the present day. From the ancient Egyptians to medieval monks and through U.S. Prohibition, beer has long been revered as a delicious and refreshing beverage.
As I don my COVID facemask and walk down Brattleboro’s Main Street, I hear Black Lives Matters supporters’ calls for justice and see MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters seeking economic power and national pride. Though seeming to face off against each other, I see more similarities than differences in the messaging. Don’t we all want to live well in a place where we feel safe, proud, and a part of it? I like to think of the Brattleboro Food Co-op as a haven of safety and neutrality. To me, the Co-op has always been a place where we come together to meet friends, connect and share community – even during hard times. But is it? Can we be doing more to be an even stronger community connector and a truly welcoming space for all?