WILLISTON, VT — Vermonters who’ve missed the simple pleasure of grabbing a cup of coffee at the state’s highway rest stops are in for some good news. After a four-year hiatus, coffee is making a comeback at Vermont’s Information and Welcome Centers. A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked this exciting new beginning, held at the Williston Welcome Center.
It’s been four years since drivers traveling Vermont’s highways could pull into a rest stop and savor a cup of coffee. Thanks to a recent partnership between the state and Jenna’s Promise, motorists can now enjoy coffee for free.
As of Tuesday morning, free coffee will be available at all Vermont Welcome and Information Centers, courtesy of Jenna’s Promise Roasting Company. This non-profit is dedicated to supporting individuals in recovery from substance abuse.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott emphasized the impact of simple gestures, stating, “Even a simple cup of coffee can have a huge impact.”
However, each cup of free coffee symbolizes a more profound message. Governor Scott noted, “You give people so much hope, you inspire so many people. We’re grateful for you being here and telling your story.”
Krista Chesebro, a Peer Support Specialist at Jenna’s Promise, shared her personal journey. She struggled with substance abuse for two decades, experiencing the relentless cycle of rehabilitation.
“People think that we’re bad people, but we’re sick people trying to be better,” Chesebro stated. Her turning point came in August 2021 when she found hope at Jenna’s Promise.
Chesebro recalled, “Many times, I wanted to give up. I have children and I have a family. I knew that I had a purpose in life. Wasn’t sure what, but when my best friend died from this disease, he died so I could get better.”
Krista Chesebro underscored the urgency of discussing substance abuse issues and spreading awareness, stating, “This is an epidemic, with so many overdoses. We’ve got the community supporting us, and the coffee lets people know that we are here, there is hope, and there is support.”
Vermont’s Welcome Centers welcome around two and a half million visitors each year, making them ideal locations to share the message of hope for those facing the challenge of substance abuse, one cup of coffee at a time.
Krista Chesebro encouraged support for those in need, saying, “Support them. Let them know they’re not alone. I’ve struggled with it for 20 years and never thought I’d get better, but I did. Don’t give up. Addicts are not bad people. They deserve to be on this planet as much as anyone else does.”
As you visit Vermont’s rest stops, like the one in Williston, you’ll have the opportunity to make a donation towards Jenna’s Promise’s mission. The organization hopes that these new initiatives will make a significant difference in the lives of those battling substance use challenges.