Fellow neighbors and guests,

 

I wanted to take this time to give you a few topline updates on what we as an organization have been doing locally to provide some relief efforts to all corners of our state. The need has been significant across the Green Mountains, and we are grateful that numerous organizations have been established to support our friends, families, and neighbors across all towns we serve. The core strength of our organization is our incredible community of over 300 hundred teammates. Their hard work and dedication to serving our customers is what makes us successful. As an employer, we are dedicated to their well-being, creating a welcoming workplace and fostering a sense of family, while keeping them safe in our current landscape. With that mentality, here are a few highlights since mid-March on our community efforts. While some have ended, more will be added as we enter into the next season, and 2021.

 

 

On seven dates we proudly joined in on the Farmers to Families volunteer days. Over these seven food drives, our team ensured nearly 2,000 families received food boxes in alignment with the Vermont Foodbank, VT Dept of AG, and the US Dept of Ag. Recipients were greeted by smiling faces, and our FDC employees made the process easy, and comfortable for our neighbors in need.  The Rutland team, including Wes and Chris led the way, and thank you to the dozen or so folks that joined us on the front lines at these food drops. We were proud to help with logistics on picking up the food boxes at multiple sites and setting up the drop zones. This is a program that has had enormous support, and the bumper to bumper cars in line each day was eye opening. At the end of August we helped load the seats of the historic Latchis Theatre of downtown Brattleboro with bags of food for Foodworks—the food shelf program of Groundworks Collaborative! We were also happy to drop off a few cases of A Spirited Response hand sanitizer to keep those hands clean. Hunger free Vermont, another amazing resource for our state saw some attention from us late October. Happy to report we sold the theater out!

 

Back in April and May, we supported Front Line Foods where Farrell was responsible for over a few hundred lunches that were ordered from local restaurants and delivered to frontline healthcare workers at UVM Medical Center. This was an incredible operation with a passion on helping our restaurant industry, and connecting fresh and local food to the folks on the front lines. Front Line Foods is part of the World Central Kitchen.

 

To express our appreciation and gratitude for our everyday heroes at the Rutland Regional Medical Center , Farrell Distributing , Palm Bay International and The Foundry at Summit Pond are pleased to welcome you to a meal on us. The Foundry and Farrell Distributing have partnered with Yealands Wines and Palm Bay International to create our “Raise a Glass” program. Learn more on our blog about how you can help support this mission.

 

We are also continuing to support ShiftMeals, an organization led by the Skinny Pancake which ensures out-of-work hospitality workers and musicians receive a good, locally-grown meal. Our hand sanitizer has been donated to these efforts to keep the staff and guests safe along with the fundraising. This pop-up relief effort has been inspirational to watch; the desire to feed, was matched by the desire to ensure those meal boxes were locally-grown, and raised. This has also transitioned to helping Vermont’s statewide Everyone Eats program with Localvore to create a digital voucher program. Vermonters who are experiencing limited access to nutritious food can request $10 meal vouchers to use at participating restaurants. Restaurants are able to sign up on this platform right now! Everyone Eats is planning to release $40,000 in vouchers each week from now until December.

Volunteers are a vital part of our Red Cross community! Farrell was honored to sponsor, and support the 2020 Vermont Gift of Life Marathon. This drive is unlike any other – spread over multiple locations, with an incredible sense of community, live radio broadcasts, and amazing goodwill. And it holds the national one-day blood donation record, 2,350 pints, set in 2013!

 

Hydration is mission critical for firefighters. That is why we are partnering with Anheuser-Busch, and the Poultney Fire Department among others to deliver 6 pallets of water, equaling over 9,400 cans to provide critical hydration to the men and women across Vermont who risk their lives to protect our community. Big thanks to Nate for all that he does in Poultney and for helping get this water to some other stations locally. Anheuser-Busch also helped convert their production to make & donate hand sanitizer to polling places. We will have plenty on hand for in-person voting in VT. This jug’s for you! #VoteSafeVT

On-Premise support continues to move along, between the restaurant gift card support programs, and social media highlights. We have made it a focus to showcase a few media organizations who have been acting as a great database for consumers to know who is offering takeout and dining options. We ran major media buys to stand by our hospitality industry, and will continue to do so. Bud Light “Open for Takeout” was a major platform for us to showcase all the locations focusing on take-out and grab-n-go options.

Zero Gravity and Farrell teamed up to release Adventure Pants, an IPA brewed exclusively for Vermont restaurants. 100% of profits from this beer will be donated to the Vermont Independent Restaurants (VTIR) a group of restaurants working together to build, connect, inspire, and keep our hospitality industry alive and well here in our home state of Vermont. In addition to the beer, Zero Gravity sold Adventure Pants themed sweatpants to benefit the VTIR. Community members were able to purchase these sweatpants, knowing that 100% of profits would also be donated. With beer and sweatpants profits combined, a total of $12,286 was donated to Vermont Independent Restaurants. We have deep roots in our state within our connections and partners throughout the restaurant and hospitality industry. We know how important these industries are to Vermont and what they do when fully operating to elevate us as a destination market within
the culinary scene we are known for.
 

This year brings our 20th year fundraising for the UVM Cancer Center program with the emphasis of driving consumers and traffic to the participating restaurants and stores. This has raised over $413,000 YTD, with $13,000 being raised in 2020. We take great pride executing this each year, encouraging dining in, or takeout from our partners who are struggling, and could use the added business. Learn more on our blog.

 

Drive-ins, pop-up gatherings, resorts, VT State Parks, movie nights, and encouraging takeout and picnics are just a few of the programs we have developed with non-profits and long-time partners. All with a statewide focus to do so in a family driven environment, at little to no cost to keep families and communities engaged, and provide the access to safe fun.

Responsibility! We take responsibility around alcohol seriously. Because of this commitment we partnered with media groups across the state to reinforce this message, and remind folks to be safe on the roads, and to reach out for a ride if needed.

Through the partnership with our brand partner Clean Cause, we have awarded 44 sober living scholarships here in Vermont for those struggling to stay clean. These equate to $22,000 of scholarships.

Over 600 holiday turkeys were donated and handed out throughout our state to assist communities, employees, food shelves, and industry partners out of work ensuring they had a meal on their tables. Local musicians have been hit hard by this pandemic, so we were proud to donate, and showcase the Vermont Musicians Covid Relief Fund that kicked off in December. Farrell will continue to help this group until we get these folks back to entertaining us across the state.

We teamed up with Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant to support Mercy Connections, Inc., a Vermont non-profit that empowers people to make significant life changes through education, mentoring, entrepreneurship and community.
For every bottle or glass of these amazing wines you purchased in 2020, Kermit Lynch and Farrell Distributing made a contribution to support Mercy Connections’ important work with Pizzeria Verità Sotto Enoteca & Trattoria Delia.

Here locally in Vermont, Stella Artois and Farrell Distributing have joined forces to put efforts and energy into awareness around Lake Champlain with our partners at Lake Champlain International. Grab a Stella, and learn more about what LCI is doing to help clean up our lake, and protect its future. We committed funding to directly help these efforts and our local lake cleanup.

We continued our commitment to chambers and business associations across the state to support their membership programs, and local businesses across the state that depend on their advocacy and networks. Some of those include the Lake Champlain Chamber, Vermont Chamber, Burlington Business Association, Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association, Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region, Vermont Fresh Network, Stowe Area Association, Killington Chamber.

We have had the pleasure working with this year on cross market collaborations, in-store cause marketing, and donations / fundraisers with some of the amazing folks listed here. Please do what you can to learn more about each of these non-profits and their incredible community resources. Intervale Center | Special Olympics | Champlain Valley Exposition | Burlington Discover Jazz Festival | Lucy MacKenzie Humane Society | Woodstock Community Trust | Woodstock Community Food Shelf | Travis Roy Foundation | Burlington City Arts Center | Flynn Theater | UVM Medical Center | | Hartland Food Shelf| VT Children’s Trust Foundation | Steps To End Domestic Violence | Boys & Girls Club Burlington | Ronald MacDonald House Burlington | Vermont Foodbank | Hunger Free Vermont | Waterwheel Foundation\Divided Sky Foundation | Vermont American Red Cross | Stratton Foundation | UVM Vermont Children’s Hospital| Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging | Feed Chittenden | Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports | Vermont Parks Forever

 

Over 1500 cases of hand sanitizer have been donated across the state from our collaboration, “A Spirited Response”, and more will continue to be donated to those in need. Retailers, trade associations, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies have all been part of this coalition to ensure our state has access to this product. We will see over 2,000 cases donated over the next 6-12 months as we continue to open up, and get into the winter season.

 

Here is a quick snippet on this story – “A Spirited Response was a quick pause in time to reflect on what we do best in Vermont: collaborate and take care of each other. That collaboration has now come full circle. We are excited to offer this hand sanitizer, produced from draft beer that we were not able to sell before it expired, and would have to be destroyed that was building up in our warehouse mid March when the state ordered a restaurant and bar shutdown. Thank you to our brewery partners, both national and local, to the businesses that pivoted to help turn this situation into something we are proud to offer our neighbors and retailers, who now can offer their friends and customers some high quality hand sanitizer. Part two of our story can be seen below, part one is also linked if you missed that beginning to this story a few months ago. “  – Ryan Chaffin

Hope you enjoy,

Part One

Part Two

 

Lastly,

It is our goal to step up and do all that we can within our world to support our neighbors, communities, and organizations that provide resources that are in strong demand. This is a sample of the efforts we have partnered on, while we start setting our sights on the upcoming seasons just around the corner.

 

Sincerely,

Ryan Chaffin

Director of Marketing