By Susan Ohanian, Contributor

Note: The Food Shelf is open the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.

June is National Dairy Month, so we are encouraged to celebrate with everything from cottage cheese to creemees.

Of course, Vermont is famous for the famous ice cream brought to the world in Burlington in 1978 by New York friends Ben and Jerry, after they finished a correspondence course  on ice cream making. By 1983, their ice cream was packed in cartons decorated with the iconic Vermont cow designed by Woody Jackson, who lives just down the road from us.

Both Carvel and Dairy Queen claim to have invented soft serve, one in Hartsdale, New York, the other near Moline, Illinois. No matter where you pin the credit, Vermonters know the soft serve cone as the creemee. In Britain, many people call it Mr. Whippee.

Whatever we call this summer treat, we can all enjoy that old Gershwin classic performed in Shall We Dance by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire (complete with a dance on roller skates), “Let’s call the Whole Thing Off,” popularly known as “You Say Tomato.”

You like potato and I like potahto
You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto.
Let’s call the whole thing off.

See the video here. This classic has been performed by many famous pairs, including Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday.

For those who think this is all too old-fashioned, here’s Willie Nelson and Cindi Lauper, Sylvester Stallone with the Muppets, The Simpsons.

Old-fashioned or not, only Fred and Ginger did it on roller skates.

The new season
Tomatoes aren’t quite in season yet, but history tells us Charlotte gardeners will be sharing their crops, and right now visitors to the Food Shelf on alternate Thursdays will receive milk, potatoes and other healthful food.

Please note
The community food garden at Charlotte Central School has been planted up with vegetables and two new pollinator lanes. The school kitchen will not be in use this summer, so all the vegetable donations will go to the town food shelf. If you have time and interest in helping tend a community food garden, we’d love to expand our group of volunteers. Come and enjoy the garden, including the outdoor seating area, now with solar lighting! If you can help in the garden, please contact Deirdre Holmes.

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

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 kids program.

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 and we will come up with an assistance plan. We need to help families and volunteers stay safe.

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

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 of different types of financial assistance and eligibility. Applications are available at the Food Shelf and online. The website also contains information about other Vermont resources offering further.

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, Vermont 05445.