Food Connects, a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro that supports local food systems, is hosting its first Taste of Food Connects through Nov. 21.

The event brings together more than 90 local businesses throughout Windham County, Vermont, and the Monadnock Region to celebrate the local economy. The event is part of Local Passport, benefitting local businesses, and part Silent Auction, supporting Food Connects’ annual fund.

The idea for this event came as a response to COVID-19 putting a damper on Food Connects’ initial fundraising plans for the fall. So Food Connects decided to hold a fundraiser for its programming and support local businesses at the same time.

Community members are invited to shop at any of the 21 participating businesses. Shoppers who spend $10 or more can add a sticker to the passport. After three stickers, the shopper can be entered to win one of nine prizes, including $1,000 to spend at local businesses. Multiple passport entries are encouraged.

“The team at Food Connects hopes that this program will help encourage community members to shop at local businesses,” said Laura Carbonneau, Food Connects’ Marketing Manager. “We understand how COVID-19 impacted and continues to impact our community partners and we need to continue to fortify and strengthen our local economy. We are stronger together and the community needs us all to shop locally this holiday season.”

The program ends with a five-day virtual silent auction from Nov. 16 to 20 to support Food Connects annual fund.