By Susan Ohanian

Charlotte Community Food Shelf and Assistance. Photo contributed.

Very important: Note the new time. Starting Dec. 2, the Food Shelf will be open every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This new time will allow for some daylight. If severe weather prevents Wednesday distribution, this distribution will take place on Thursday, 4 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Whenever you need to add a little sunshine to your day, just take a look at these imaginative turkeys that graced the Thanksgiving bags. The work is by children at Charlotte Central School, under the direction of art teacher Lisa Bresler.

Thank you to all the families shopping for the Giving Tree Children’s Wish. Please remember to bring your wrapped gift and ornament back to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (OLMC) or the Charlotte Congregational Church (CCC) by Dec. 13. We thank you!

This month, we send a special thank you to SCHIP’s Treasure Resale Shop for awarding the Food Shelf a grant. We would remind readers that SCHIP is a nonprofit store in Shelburne that has made grants of over $750,000 to other nonprofits while also providing money for emergency situations.

Remember: SCHIP welcomes donations of clean, gently used items including clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, small housewares and decorative items, and art. Go to their website for information on what they do and do not accept. Take note that they make a special plea for jewelry.

This is a fine example of what we give away coming back to benefit our community.
A bountiful thank you to Woody’s Eggs for the 12 dozen eggs each week. Besides being organic, these eggs come in beautiful colors. And thank you to Kristin Najarian for that special turkey. Special thanks to Jason Hackerman, who works for Gordini USA and who for the second year has been able to secure a donation of beautiful gloves for all our school-age kids. It’s all in the family. Jason is married to Anne Marie Andriola, a Food Shelf volunteer.

We are very grateful for financial support from Shelburne Wine & Coffee, Champlain Valley Telecom, Rice Lumber and the Tiller Family Foundation. Thank you to Jeffrey & Irene Horbar for a generous gift in honor of Greg Cluff’s 38 years of outstanding service as a teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School.

Many thanks: Alexandra Lehmann, William & Emily Kallock, Catherine Hughes, Katherine Lampton, Benjamin & Anne Mason, LT & GB Cluff, Carl & Carlanne Herzog, Meg Smith, Donna Wark, Judith Carpenter, Ken French, Susan & James Hyde, Wendy Trono, Evan Metropoulos, Deborah Cook, Dean Leary & Donna Fraser-Leary, Robert & Marjorie Archer, Eva & William Fraser-Harris, Kathleen Reo, Tom & Lorna Bates, Gertrude Gecewicz Jordan, Abigail Foulk & Richard Wasserman, Cynthia Marshall, Thomas Hengelsberg & Linda Samter, William & Karen Bruett, Laura Cahners-Ford, Kathleen Nolan, Daniel Raabe & Rachel Destito, Linda Kelsey from Connecticut, “on behalf of two Charlotte residents,” and to Louise McCarren, in honor of her sister Mollie Moroney’s birthday. Thank you to Sanctuary Lane Contributors: Scott & Lynne Jaunich, Kirk & Loretta Walters, Tom Cosinuke, Annie Kelton.

Thank you to Crosswind Road Contributors: Kathleen & William Posey, Myron & Lenore Sopher, Karen & David Hurwitt, Heather & John Dwight, Lell & Rex Forehand, Mark & Eleanor Capeless, Jan & Larry Sudbay, John & Carolyn Kovac.

No one needs a reminder than we live in perilous times, and we are grateful for all the people who realize that food assistance and other financial support is especially vital as a pandemic mitigation measure.

Thank you to the people donating free items through Front Porch Forum, asking that recipients make a donation to the Food Shelf. Here in Charlotte, we are fortunate to live in a very special place, and if we have failed to thank anyone for their contribution to the Food Shelf mission, we apologize. Please know that every gift is deeply appreciated.

When you think about shopping, please remember our local merchants, the people who are such an intricate part of our community, the people who support so many of our local non-profit efforts.

Important notice
If someone can’t get to the Food Shelf, please 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. Don’t be reluctant to ask for a little help when you need it.

For anyone suffering economic hardship from COVID-19, look into the possibility of assistance through the Vermont Covid-19 Arrearage Assistance Program (VCAAP). 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 via 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.

The Food Shelf is open Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 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 everyone 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.

Donations
The Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc. is a nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible. Our organization is run by volunteers, 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. Call the Food Shelf at (802) 425-3252 for a recording of the distribution times.

pictured below: Under the guidance of art teacher Lisa Bresler, students at Charlotte Central School made these wonderful turkeys to decorate the Thanksgiving bags. Photos contributed