Food Shelf News for Oct. 18

Holiday preparations
Please join us in preparing Thanksgiving baskets for approximately 30 Charlotte families. We’ll meet in the Charlotte Congregational Church vestry on Friday, Nov. 17, from 8:00 until about 10:00 a.m. This is a festive occasion and all are welcome. The baskets will be distributed to families in need the following morning. Please also mark your calendars for Friday, Dec. 15, same place and time, to assemble the Christmas/Holiday baskets. Bring your friends and just show up—we love the help!

The Holiday Wishing Trees will go up soon at the Charlotte Congregational Church and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Everyone is welcome to pick a wish tag from the tree that indicates a child’s holiday toy wish. You may wrap the gifts and attach the wish tag and then drop the gifts back at the church before the Dec. 15 basket preparations.

Gift idea
As the holiday season approaches, consider a donation to the Food Shelf in honor or memory of friends and loved ones. Checks may be mailed to the address indicated below. We will mail a confirmation/acknowledgment to any address provided on nice holiday themed stationery/cards.

Some statistics and financial information
We held our annual volunteers meeting on Sept. 21 at the Charlotte Senior Center. Thirteen regular volunteers attended, and we shared some statistics and financial information and discussed new ideas of how to better provide for the community. For fiscal year September 2016 through August 2017, our revenue from grants and donations totaled $36,612. Our expenditures totaled $28,523. Expenditures included purchases from the Vermont Foodbank, Costco, Hannaford and other food shopping, as well as Shoe In program and children’s clothing purchases and fuel/utility/other emergency assistance. We have accumulated some cash we hold in a CD for emergency purchases. For example, our aging commercial refrigerator/freezer may need to be replaced soon. During the fiscal year, we provided food and assistance to an average of 20 families each winter month and an average of 13 families each summer month.

Thank you
Thank you to the Shelburne Market coffee bar and the Charlotte Organic Coop for your ongoing support. Thank you to Jeannette Thibault and Margaret Berlin for your support this month. Happy birthday to Hannah Stein, and thank you to Annika Gruber for the eight filled-to-the-brim grocery bags given in Hannah’s honor. And thank you to Heidi Pecott-Grimm for the fresh eggs.

Thanks to the many gardeners this fall. Our table was filled with many local varieties of vegetables. CCS second-grade students in Kris Gerson’s class harvested cherries, squash and different varieties of cherry tomatoes. Thank you for the beautiful presentation as well! Valerie Graham dropped off fresh zucchini from her garden. John and Sue Lavigne brought in eggplants; John also helped harvest the Congregational Church garden bounty of tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant and peppers. Thanks also to the anonymous gardener for the box of yellow squash. Thank you to Abby Foulk for delivering veggies and to Bill Doris for picking up at CCS. It was a colorful final harvest of red onions, potatoes and squash.

A recent note to the Food Shelf said, “Thank you very much for being there for the needy.” All of the Food Shelf volunteers would like to thank all of our supporters. Volunteers cannot do this work without the support of a dedicated community that thoughtfully makes sure there is food on the shelves when it is needed!

Grange sale/Children’s Winter Wear Program
Thank you to the Grange members and Food Shelf volunteers who helped outfit kids in need with winter outerwear during the Grange sale. We appreciate all the donations from the community! We were able to fully outfit seven children for the upcoming winter months.

Good and cheap
The Food Shelf took advantage of a wonderful opportunity offered by Workman Publishing in New York. At a special discounted price available only to nonprofit organizations serving people in need, we ordered 36 cookbooks titled Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day by Leanne Brown. The cookbook features 152 recipes for families on a tight budget, specifically on the SNAP/Food Stamp program. It is filled with delicious, healthful recipes backed by ideas that will make everyone who uses it a better cook. Volunteers are looking forward to distributing the books.

Will you volunteer?
We are looking for volunteers who can act as substitutes on our distribution days as well as volunteers to help us stack shelves once a month. Please call Karen Doris at (802) 425-3252 if you can help. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a small group of committed individuals who are making a difference at a local level.

Wish list
We appreciate donations of healthy after-school snacks for children such as dried fruit, granola bars, instant oatmeal packs, butter-free popcorn, salt-free nuts, canned fruit in juice, peanut butter, juice boxes (no sugar added) and low-sodium soups. In addition we need spaghetti sauce, crackers, Cheerios and Rice Krispies cereal, pancake mix and tea. Thank you!

New Facebook Page
Click “Like” on our new Facebook page Charlotte Community Food Shelf and Assistance to see photos and get updates on all the Food Shelf activities.

We are a volunteer organization, so all donations you make to the Food Shelf go directly for food or assistance to our local neighbors in need. Thank you so much for considering donating today. Checks may be mailed to Charlotte Food Shelf & Assistance, P. O. Box 83, Charlotte, VT 05445.

Donated food drop-off locations
All nonperishable food donations may be dropped off at the Charlotte Library, the Charlotte Congregational Church vestry, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (main entrance) or at the Food Shelf during the distribution mornings. We request that all fresh foods be dropped off at the Food Shelf before the Wednesday distribution hours or before 7:30 a.m. on the Thursday distribution mornings.

The Charlotte Food Shelf is located on the lower level of the Charlotte Congregational Church vestry. Distribution days/times are posted in this newspaper and on the bulletin board in the Charlotte Congregational Church Hall. You may also call the Food Shelf number at (802) 425-3252 for a recording of the distribution times.

We are open to all community residents. Privacy is very important and respected in our mission of neighbor helping neighbor.

For emergency food call John at (802) 425-3130.
For emergency assistance (electricity, fuel) call Cindi at (802) 425-3234.
For more information call Karen at (802) 425-3252.

Important Upcoming 2017 Charlotte Food Shelf Distribution Dates
Wednesdays, Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and 29, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursdays, Oct. 26, Nov. 9 and 30, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Thanksgiving basket set up by volunteers.
Saturday, Nov. 18, Basket distribution times to be announced.