The Vermont Women’s Fund gave out $331,000 in grants to 29 organizations that support women in the community.
Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund said, the grants will be used to help people who were hit the hardest by the pandemic.
“Women primarily took the brunt because they hold the majority of tipped wage workers,” Smith said. “There are more women in restaurants and many different places where tips are part of your income.”
Vermont Works for Women received $10,000. The organization helps women find a job that is the right match for them. Rhoni Basden, executive director at Vermont Works for Women, said they saw a 33% increase in the number of women it serves.
“Women of color in Vermont were hit hardest by the pandemic,” Smith said. “Not only in cases of COVID, but also job loss.”
The Clemmons Family Farm supports 200 Vermont artists of African descent and the majority are women. They also received $10,000.
“Our support includes providing them with professional development opportunities, helping them to network and build community with other Black artists as well as with the greater art community,” Lydia Clemmons, president of The Clemmons Family Farm said.
The farm collaborates with artists such as Cherrita Robertson who worked virtually during the pandemic.
“I did yoga and meditation and some activities with a group of girls from ages 9-14, which went really well and they were able to connect with each other,” Robertson said.
Smith said it is vital to have women in the workforce.
“Women are ready and incredible contributors to the Vermont economy, so supporting women supports Vermont in a big way,” Smith said.
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