By Susan Ohanian

Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
   ~ Fred Rogers

The Charlotte Food Shelf is an all volunteer organization supported by the Charlotte Congregational Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and the Charlotte Community. A big thank you to the helpers who make it happen. Their titles do not indicate the multitude of things these people do:

Food Shelf Board of Directors
Karen Doris, president; Nancy Bloch, vice president; Cindy Tyler, treasurer; Peggy Sharpe, secretary; Peter Richardson, director; Cindi Robinson, director; Michael Russell, director.

If you forget a phone number or the time of distribution or anything else, go to the Food Shelf website.

In praise of helpers
Calista, a thoughtful 3rd grader in our community, raised $100 for the Food Shelf for her end-of-year project. Calista’s parents are Carina Cartelli and Joesph Lasek.

Thank you to Tenney’s Snack Bar for providing a big stack of vouchers for free creemees for the kids who use the Food Shelf.

Thank you to Wolfie Davis and his family for buying the many needed items from Hannaford’s.

Thank you to Claudia and the wonderful church members who donate items from our wish list every week.

Thank you to Back Door Bread for its ongoing offer of good bread to anyone who needs it. In the summer bread is available on Fridays—but get there early because it disappears.

Thank you to Rise ‘N Shine Farm for their continued support.

Food Shelf volunteers picked up 20 gallons of donated milk from Dairy Farmers of America at the Champlain Valley Expo. A big thank you for their 4,000-gallon donation to our northern Vermont nonprofits.

Thank you to Nan Mason and her son, Alexander (aka Oopey), for the brand new kitty litter box, scratch post and kitty litter for a lucky cat owner!

Fresh produce
Many thanks to Miskell’s Premium Organics for growing, harvesting, washing and delivering copious amounts of wonderful greens: baby lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and Asian greens for weekly distribution. The fresh produce is greatly appreciated by families.

Seed Library Coodinators Linda Hamilton and Karen Tuininga are working to keep the Charlotte Library garden going and growing. This year they’ve planted potatoes that are thriving in these summer temperatures and ready for donation to the Food Shelf in the fall.

Please note fresh produce can be accepted on Wednesdays. Please call for specifics, (802) 425-3252.

Food for the mind
As part of his Eagle Scout Project, Stuart Robinson is building a Little Free Library to hang outside the Grange Hall. Right now there is a bin of very attractive books on the ramp in front of the Grange Hall. There are enticing books for babies through teens. All the books have been disinfected, and each is in its own plastic bag. We hope every kid will find a book to enjoy—and keep—and after that come back and find another one.

More good neighbors:
Anne Castle (Co-op); Eileen Curtis; Heather Chambless Herrington, in appreciation of Maris Rose; Northfield Savings Bank on behalf of employee Ed Sulva; Kathleen Nolan; Mark Taylor, Fidelity charitable grant; Saarin Schwartz, in recognition of Susan Raber’s Bray bowl benefit, for her talent and generosity; and E. G. Kiley.

Summer Lunch Bags
Reminder: The Food Shelf provides non-perishable bagged lunches for children at three locations: the library, Spear’s Store and during the Wednesday evening distributions at the Food Shelf. Please register to arrange pickup location and quantity. Thank you to Charlotte Congregational Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the funds to purchase all of the items for these lunches and to the wonderful volunteers who assemble the lunches.

Needed: The Food Shelf needs brown paper bags and clean reusable plastic grocery-size bags.

Keeping safe
The Food Shelf continues to take precautions to help everyone keep safe. Anyone who has a fever or cough—or symptoms that might seem like a cold—should not come to the distributions. Also, don’t come if you have been in contact with anyone who has these symptoms. Instead, call (802) 425-3252 and leave your name and number. You will receive a call back to come up with a plan. We need to help families and volunteers stay safe.

We are open every Wednesday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is curbside service only. Cars pull up to a sign that says “Please wait in car.” A volunteer offers a checklist for patrons to select the items they need. A volunteer packs the items, and another volunteer carries the bags out, setting them beside the car.

Financial assistance
Reminder: The Food Shelf has some funds available for emergency assistance with fuel and electric bills. Call (802) 425-3252 if you need assistance. For emergency food, call John at (802) 425-3130.

Volunteers welcome
The Food Shelf welcomes volunteers to assist with:

  • Food distribution
  • Food shopping
  • Special projects throughout the year

For information please call (802) 425-3252.

Donations
The Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax deductible. Our organization is run by volunteers, and so all donations made to the Food Shelf go directly for nutritious food or assistance to our local neighbors in Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh. 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, P.O. Box 83, Charlotte, Vermont 05445.

Call the Food Shelf number at (802) 425-3252 for a recording of the distribution times. Visit the Food Shelf website for information.