Food shelf prepares for cool weather programs

This feels like a season of change and of preparation. Autumnal foliage first dapples the land, then deepens. Lines of migrating geese slice through our skies with a honking cacophony that marks their purposeful journey.

The food shelf also stays on course as we ready for winter. Our work continues with the welcome addition of Michael Yantachka to our board, as well as a budgetary increase of $24,000 a year to meet the rising need for food and assistance.

We feel fortunate that the government shutdown, which would have threatened Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits and 3SquaresVT benefits, has been avoided for at least 45 days.

The distribution of kids’ winter clothes, headed by Charlotte Grange member Alicia Cooper, will occur on food shelf distribution Wednesday dates in October. Registration for holiday baskets begins in October as well. Holiday and Giving trees planned for the Charlotte Congregational Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel will feature ornaments that include kids’ wishes and needs.

Beautiful floral arrangements provided, since July, by Hillary Maharam to families at the Charlotte, Shelburne and Burlington food shelves have been a source of delight. The generous donations from Michael and Janet Yantachka and Blake Hoberman of Pease Mountain Natural Foods have been appreciated. Venison from Jason Harvey, cucumbers from Waverly Purdum, as well as produce from the gardens of Arlene Marks and Steve Epstein and Charlotte Central School, have provided important fresh nutritional support.

For those who wish to donate electronically, the food shelf is working to put in place a convenient mechanism for online donations on our website.

To continue our work, please note that those who wish to volunteer will be warmly welcomed. Many hands make light work. Please contact Peggy Sharpe if you are interested in volunteering.

For many years the Congregational Church has provided space to us in their basement. We are still actively searching for a new home, hoping to find a first-floor space of about 600 square feet with room for parking and receipt of large food orders. Email Peggy Sharpe, food shelf secretary, if you have any leads.

The Charlotte Food Shelf remains committed to providing dignified access to healthy food as well as assistance to those in need. Remember, if you or someone you know in Charlotte or North Ferrisburgh is facing utility shut-off or an unexpected hardship, help is available. All requests and grants are kept private and are available by simply calling 802-425-3252 or by filling 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 the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 403 Church Hill Road behind the Congregational Church in Charlotte.

For emergency food, if you cannot come to the food shelf due to COVID symptoms or want information about the food shelf, call 802-425-3252. Donations are appreciated, tax deductible and can be addressed to: Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc., P.O. Box 83, Charlotte VT 05445.