Bold ideas and incremental actions needed to end hunger

During Hunger Action Month in September, the White House hosted the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. The first such conference in 50 years, it established goals to end hunger in the United States by 2030, including expansion of SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), reinstatement of the child tax credit and provision of school meals for every child.

Photo by Karen Doris. Among the variety of vegetable donations to the Charlotte Food Shelf is this eggplant with a nose.
Photo by Karen Doris. Among the variety of vegetable donations to the Charlotte Food Shelf is this eggplant with a nose.

The need for these bold actions was underscored by a recent joint University of Vermont and University of Maine study of almost 1,000 people in the northeast that described a high prevalence of food insecurity. Two out of five Vermonter responders reported difficulty putting food on the table; this figure likely reflects inflationary pressures as well as slow recovery from the huge surge in food insecurity noted during the height of COVID.

Here in Charlotte, incremental actions help fuel the bold vision of ending hunger. The Charlotte Food Shelf continues to provide nourishing food and assistance for fuel and electricity to all community members in need.

We are grateful for donations from Michael and Janet Yantachka, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, E. Kiley, Arlene Marks, the Proutt Family Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation and the Hannaford Fight Hunger Bag Program.

Rich harvests have allowed vegetable donations from Alex Ford and Kim Shifrin, Arlene and Steve Marks, and Katie at Head over Fields Farm who gave a generous donation of organic vegetables from their Grow a Row for Others initiative.

Suzanne Ferland harvested a friend’s garden and brought a bushel of tomatoes, Swiss chard, peppers, cucumbers and squash. Stewart’s Bakery has delivered a variety of rolls and delicious bread which are appreciated. Many thanks to all our community supporters.

The Kids Winter Clothes Project is helping to outfit 14 young people for the coming snow season. Special thanks to Tai Dinnan as well as all the parents and Grange members who dove into their closets to provide warm clothes for the winter ahead.

As we look forward to winter, we thank snowmobile club Shelburne Charlotte Association of Travelers and its parent organization, the Chittenden County Snowmobile Association, and the Vermont Association of Snowmobile Travelers for its donation honoring Chittenden county landowners who provide access over their land for snowmobile enthusiasts. We appreciate their generosity.

Our wish list in preparation for winter includes creamed and other soup, crackers, instant mashed potatoes, canned corn, tuna, pasta. For all those with small flocks of hens, we would be happy to receive egg donations in any amount. Please call 802-425-3252 for drop-off information.

As we look forward to winter’s joys, economic challenges are also anticipated. Please know that help is available to residents of Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh if you or someone you know is facing utility shut-off or an unexpected hardship. Simply call 802-425-3252 or fill out a request form. Request forms are available during food shelf open hours or on the website. All requests and grants are kept private.

John Sayles, of the nonprofit Vermont Food Bank, cites donations, advocacy and volunteerism as critical to the fight against hunger. The food shelf has volunteer openings in food distribution, tech support and recycling. Champlain Valley Union High School students can earn credits for graduation through volunteer participation in an upcoming food drive sponsored by Dermer Dreams. More information is available by calling Jari Chevalier, local Dermer Dreams coordinator at 802-557-1373.

The Charlotte Food Shelf is open for food distribution from 4-6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Our address is 403 Church Hill Road, in back of the Congregational Church in Charlotte.

Curbside delivery continues and masking is encouraged during the ongoing pandemic. For emergency food, please call John at 802-425-3130. If you cannot come to the food shelf due to COVID symptoms or seek further information about the food shelf, please call 802-425-3252.

Monetary donations are appreciated, tax deductible, and can be addressed to: Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc., P.O. Box 83, Charlotte VT 05445.