At the Food Shelf, what’s black and white and highly valued?Photo by Susan Ohanian

At the Food Shelf, what’s black and white and highly valued? Photo by Susan Ohanian.

By Susan Ohanian, Contributor

Knock Knock!
Who’s there?
Bean
Bean who?
Bean a while since I last saw ya!

What vegetable can you throw away the outside, cook the inside, eat the outside, and throw away the inside?
Corn.

Why shouldn’t you tell secrets at Food Shelf distribution night?
The corn have ears and the beans-talk.

Home gardens are flourishing, and Food Shelf volunteer prima Karen Doris reports that the abundance of fresh vegetables made a recent Wednesday evening Food Shelf distribution look like a farmers market. Thank you for the vegetables offered anonymously, and here are some grateful shout-outs for other generosity. For the great continuous supply of tender lettuces and Swiss chard, we thank the Miskell family. Thank you to Rick Tenney for the ongoing supply of fresh vegetables. Thank you to Jeanie MacDonough, to Bethany Brightland, and to Pete and Waverly Purdum for more tasty veggies. Everyone is grateful that Louise McCarren’s tomatoes don’t seem to stop. We also welcome a new gardener Eunice Froeliger.

Barbara and Bud Lawrence continue to drop off many appreciated items, including granola, beans and eggs. Thank you to the Nick Frigo family in North Ferrisburgh for a large quantity of crackers and individually packed cheese and cracker snacks. Please know that the Food Shelf is stocking healthy kid snacks for the start of this difficult school year; donations of single-serve snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, applesauce or mixed fruit cups, prepared peanut butter and cheese crackers, juice and milk boxes will be greatly appreciated by young families.

New England clam chowder is available to all families, courtesy of Hannafords.

Suzanne Ferland brought a bountiful supply of macaroni and cheese and rice, as did Art and Kathy Ridge.

Philo Sky Farm donated a box of raw honey, and kids in the neighborhood bottled a supply. They have an additional supply bottled for sale, with a portion of the sales going to the Food Shelf.

The Foodbank cereal supply has run dry. We are looking for Cheerios, Rice Krispies and kids snacks of all kinds to help fill the gap.

Thank you to Donna Fraser-Leary and to the Miskell family for thinking of the cats.

We thank the anonymous donor who left a big box of school supplies—and remind everyone else that markers, crayons, pencils and binders are helpful for school. Backpacks have gone out to children to brighten the start of the school year in these difficult times. A special thank you to Jeanie MacDonough for her great help in stocking the backpacks. Thanks to an anonymous donor who, believing every child should have a new book, made sure each backpack contained a high-interest read. Parents should know that this supply is ongoing, and picture books are also available for children not yet in school. Start read-alouds in infancy and reading will become habit-forming. We have the books. Children might try reading inside one of the indoor play tents donated by Diane and Emile Cote. What fun!

Thank you for monetary donations: Kathleen Nolan, Barry Finette & Sharon Mount, Nancy & John Barnes, Stephanie & James Wells, Robert & Marjorie Archer, Jeff & Irene Horbar, Aileen Kraus, and Bruce & Linda Williamson; Kristina Harff made a gift in honor of a lovely neighbor, Alexandra Lehmann.

Special thanks to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Charlotte Congregational Church for the financial support to supply all the food shelf families with children’s summer lunches.

Important Notice: If a family can’t get to the food shelf they should call (802) 425-3252 to arrange for food delivery. Just leave a name and number for a return call. We don’t want anyone cut off from necessary basics: food, shelter, utilities or gas for their car. Our community calls out to people: Don’t be reluctant to ask for a little help.

Note: For anyone suffering economic hardship from COVID-19, look into the possibility of assistance through the Vermont Covid-19 Arrearage Assistance program. This program provides eligible Vermont utility ratepayers served by a fixed-line telephone service, Vermont electric, or natural gas, with a grant to assist with past-due balances. For more information, you can call your local Vermont Community Action Agency or contact the Department’s Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) Division at (800) 622-4496 or send an email.

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. It is located in the Congregational Church vestry  at 403 Church Hill Road.

It is open Wednesday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for curbside pickup. Delivery is also available to those sheltering in place for health reasons and to those who find themselves unable to get to the delivery night. The Food Shelf contact number is (802) 425-3252. Visit the website for more information on other assistance programs, such as 3 Squares VT.

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.

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, and 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 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, VT 05445.

Do ants have brains?
Of course! How else would hey figure out when you’re having a picnic?