Anna Syrell

NOTICE: New Pickup Time

Starting in June, the Food Shelf will be open the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

In dismay, we watched the ever-cheerful daffodils droop, covered with April snow, but then the wild violets began popping up, bringing May’s renewal of good spirits. Viola sororia, popularly known as the common blue violet, is native to eastern U.S. Yes, it’s ours and we know it by a number of names: common meadow violet, purple violet, woolly blue violet, hooded violet and wood violet. But to paraphrase Shakespeare, What’s in a name? That which we’d call a violet by any other name still brings the same end-of-winter joy and hope for a good new year.

Numerous poets have written of the violet as a sign of the wakening earth, a new beginning. Here’s William Cullen Bryant, romantic poet, journalist and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post:

The country ever has a lagging Spring,
Waiting for May to call its violets forth…
and chase the wintry gloom…

The poets don’t write about all the good ways we can eat violets. According to Stalking the Healthful Herbs by Euell Gibbons, violets are “nature’s vitamin pill” containing 150 mg of vitamin C per 100g of blossoms, three times the amount of that in oranges weight for weight. According to Wikipedia, Gibbons’ favorite recommendations included lamb’s quarters [pigweed], rose hips, young dandelion shoots, stinging nettle and cattails.

Try some violets in your salad tonight. Or freeze flowers in an ice cube tray and brighten up your next cold drink.

The Food Shelf volunteers remain grateful for all the help our community offered to ease the wintry gloom, and, of course, we are looking forward to those bountiful Charlotte gardens that are beginning to sprout. Please see below for a few things we need.

The Food Shelf is now accepting paper goods: paper towels, Kleenex-type tissues, paper napkins and toilet paper are all welcome.

We are planning for healthy snacks for the kids this summer: snacks and non-perishable lunch items. We would definitely appreciate donations to help with this important program for kids.

Items can be left on the covered entry hall at the back of the Congregational Church on Wednesdays (our distribution day) or at the drop box for the Food Shelf at the library.

Registration for the Full Plates VT program is set to begin starting on May 24. Vermonters can visit the Foodbank’s website or call (800) 585-2265 for more information.

Reminder: Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is now open for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Appointments can be made through the Health Department website or call (855) 722-7878. This includes clinics run by the Health Department, National Guard, Costco, Walmart and Hannaford. You can also register at Walgreens, CVS, and Kinney Drugs.

Charlotte’s VaxHelp volunteers are here to help.

  • Do you have questions about the vaccine?
  • Need help signing up for a vaccine?
  • Need a ride to a vaccine site?

Three ways to contact VaxHelp:

  • By phone: (802) 425-3864 (Charlotte Library)
  • By email
  • Sign up for the vaccine on the Library porch

There is a Chrome book available to use during library hours with links to sign up for the vaccine, vaccine information and to get assistance from VaxHelp.

Get vaccinated and celebrate Spring!

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 425-3252 and leave your name and number. You will receive a call back and we will come up with an assistance 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.

Check the Food Shelf website for more information on different types of financial assistance and eligibility. Applications are available at the Food Shelf and online.

For emergency food, call John at (802) 425-3130.

The Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc. is a nonprofit organization supported by the Charlotte Congregational Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and the Charlotte community. Our organization is run by volunteers, and all donations made to the Food Shelf go directly for nutritious food and assistance to our neighbors in Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh.

Checks may be mailed to Charlotte Food Shelf and Assistance, P.O. Box 83, Charlotte, VT 05445.

We offer thanks to people who find many ways to offer assistance. May the joy you give be returned to you in abundance.