Food shelf collecting nonperishable food for Thanksgiving

As days grow colder, and the hours of darkness increase, the Charlotte Food Shelf prepares to provide warmth and nourishment in the holiday months. As we watch small birds and mammals store food for the months ahead, so do food shelf volunteers seek nonperishable items for the fast-approaching Thanksgiving Day basket meal.

In a lovely longstanding tradition, Charlotte Central School students and teachers fill boxes of nonperishable food items that are donated to the food shelf. Food shelf volunteers then add milk, butter, eggs and bread to the baskets. Turkeys, so generously supplied by the Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg Rotary, complete this feast. Registered families can pick up their basket and turkey Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m.-noon.

The warmth of our community helped make the Charlotte Hand-Me-Downs Fall Clothing Drive very successful. Twenty-five families donated clothes and winter gear. Each child served by the food shelf received a complete set of winter gear. Additional bags of clothing and outerwear were passed along to the Charlotte Central School counselor for further distribution. All remaining outerwear was donated to a coat drive for refugees living in Vermont. Thank you to the families who donated and for the Grange volunteers who helped to sort and pack clothing.

For future planning, please note that this effort happens twice a year. Donations are accepted at the Charlotte Grange in April and September. More detailed updates and drop-off dates are posted seasonally in the Front Porch Forum and on the Charlotte Grange website.

We are grateful to Kathleen Nolan, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Nancy Wood, Raymond and Eileen Curtis, Alexandra Lehmann and Nancy Pricer for monetary donations. Head over Fields has provided a lovely bounty of vegetables; Stewart’s Breads continues to supply scrumptious breads; and the Repair Café collected many food items as well as a generous monetary donation for the food shelf. We appreciate these donations, as well as the huge basket of potatoes grown and harvested by youth from the Charlotte Congregational Church.

We give thanks in advance to Charlotte Congregational Church members and parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who again plan to put up the Giving Trees in both churches the weekend after Thanksgiving Day. This tradition, which is more than 15 years old, provides wish gifts for children for the holidays.

In this time of giving thanks, many continue to reach out to others. For those wishing to donate nonperishable items, the following would be gratefully received: Crackers; juice; mixes for muffins, cakes, pie crust, brownies or bread; canned pie fillings; and snacks such as granola bars.

As winter promises to bring both beauty and cold, please note that the Charlotte Food Shelf has utility assistance available to residents of Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh. If you or someone you know is facing utility shut-off or another unexpected hardship, help is available. Simply call 802-425-3252 or fill out a request form. Request forms are available during food shelf open hours or on our website.

The Food Shelf is open for Food Distribution from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Nov. 9, Nov. 30, Dec. 14 and Dec. 28.

Holiday basket pickup dates are Saturdays, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17, 10 a.m. until noon.

The Charlotte Food Bank is in back of the Congregational Church in Charlotte at 403 Church Hill Rd. 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, call 802-425-3252.

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

All the food shelf volunteers would like to wish all our community members a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!