By Susan Ohanian
November is the month for drawing people close, and the Food Shelf gives special thanks for all our nurturing neighbors in Charlotte who reach out with such helpful hands and hearts. As you read this list of separate activities, note how Charlotte Central School, the Grange and our churches join with the Food Shelf to celebrate our community. And then think of the dozens of people whose names you never see who volunteer at the Food Shelf in a myriad of ways.
Holly Rochefort, who heads up the Hunger is Hard, Baking is Easy program, reminds us that home-baked goods are a special treat this time of year and that goods baked for the Thanksgiving baskets should be dropped off at the Congregational Church or at 86 Spear Street no later than Wednesday, Nov. 14.
A thank you to Kris Gerson, Charlotte Central School teacher, for coordinating the Thanksgiving baskets program at the school. Thank you to the teachers, students and parents in Grades K-4 for putting together 12 baskets. Children learn through doing, and collaborating to help others is a skill and a spirit that will enrich their lives. Forever.
Thank you to Irene Horbar for her donation of delicious baked goods, and thanks also to Charles and Liz DesLauriers, Susan and Jim Hyde, and Anne Castle for their financial support.
Holiday baskets: Important dates
Thanksgiving baskets: Please join us in a very festive activity—preparing Thanksgiving baskets. Volunteers meet in the Charlotte Congregational Church vestry on Friday, Nov. 16, at 8:00 a.m. Coffee is available along with the great vibes provided by the good company. This lively gathering usually gets the job done in about an hour, though conversation often lingers.
The holiday wish trees go up at the Congregational Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel the weekend after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 and 25. An ornament representing each child under 18 contains that child’s holiday wish. Participants return the wrapped gift with the ornament attached on Dec. 9. People who don’t pick up an ornament can also participate. There is special need for gifts for teenagers: T-shirts, hair ornaments, nail polish, aftershave. Talk to a teenager you know for ideas. Just get those gifts in by Dec. 9.
Winter clothing: Food Shelf volunteer shoppers Diane Cote and Josie Kaestner, with help from the Charlotte Grange and an anonymous donor family, supplied 18 children with needed winter jackets, snow pants and boots. Thank you, community members, for keeping all our children warm this winter!
Gym shoes: The Food Shelf provided $475 to the Shoe-In program, which operates in collaboration with Charlotte Central School to provide gift certificates for students in need of gym shoes.
Utilities assistance: $2,599.58.
Important upcoming 2018 Charlotte Food Shelf distribution dates
Wednesday evenings, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Nov. 28, Dec. 12.
Thursday mornings, 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m, Nov. 29, Dec. 13.
Baskets set up by volunteers: Nov. 16, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Basket distribution: Saturday Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to noon.
As a reminder, the Food Shelf has some funds available for emergency assistance with fuel and electric bills. You may contact Cindi at (802) 425-3234 if you need assistance.
We are available 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.
Needed items: aluminum foil, plastic wrap, toilet paper, spaghetti sauce, fruit pie mix, kid-healthy cereal.
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. Should you wish to honor someone with a donation, a special acknowledgement will be sent to that person. Checks may be mailed to Charlotte Food Shelf & Assistance, P.O. Box 83, Charlotte, VT 05445. Thank you.
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. Please check the expiration date. 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 on bulletin boards in the Charlotte Congregational Church Hall, at the Charlotte Library and at the Charlotte Senior Center. You may also call the Food Shelf at (802) 425-3252 for a recording of the distribution times.
You can “Like” us at our Facebook page (Charlotte Community Food Shelf and Assistance) and see photos and get updates on Food Shelf activities.