Food shelf able to help 81 neighbors during holidays

Collaboration, creativity and generosity are the words that come to mind in describing the successful efforts of the Charlotte community and food shelf volunteers to help those in need during these winter months. In addition to basic sustenance and assistance, the food shelf was able to help make the holidays special for 81 neighbors, including 22 children under 18 years of age, this past month.

Thank you to the many, many people and organizations who contributed to this special, sparkling holiday effort.

Thanks to WowToyz of Vergennes which graciously and generously donates toys year after year. The toys are thoughtfully geared to the specific group of children we have each year, and the toys make an incredible difference.

Thanks to the Flying Pig Bookstore of Shelburne for including the Charlotte Food Shelf in its Snowflake Book Program, which provides each child with an age-appropriate book. This year, each child received two books. It was a special treat. Thank you to all those who participated.

Thanks to the congregants at Charlotte Congregational Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel who participated in the Giving Trees program where individual congregants select and grant the holiday wish for an individual child from our food shelf families. Thank you to Christy Gallese and Kelly Stockwell for coordinating the Giving Trees this year.

Thank you to our own Secret Santa, Evan Metropoulos, for his long-term commitment of providing a special surprise each year for each child.

Thanks to Horsford for the beautiful wreaths provided to each family.

Thank you to members of our community who also contributed to making this a bright holiday for the children. We thank Holly Rochefort and her baking elves for wonderful baked goods and Laura Guion and Kathy Reo for their special gifts. We also thank Thyleen Tenney for the beautifully crafted and warm knitted gifts. Many other lovely contributions came in the form of time, toys and gift cards. These contributors include Chief Toy Elf Laura Iglehart, Susan Iglehart, Jon Davis, Wolfie Davis, Amy Rohrbaugh, Jodi Tritt, Jo-Ellen Petrone, Amy Harrison, Stephanie Wells, Julie Wetzel, Sage Bagnato, Deenie Galipeau, Amanda Herzberger, Carol Chenevert, Janet and her grandson Everett and the Charlotte Central School and Champlain Valley Union High volunteers who organized and distributed holiday boxes.

Courtesy photo
Thyleen Tenney donated knitted goods to the food shelf.
Courtesy photo Thyleen Tenney donated knitted goods to the food shelf.

The ongoing work of the food shelf is funded entirely by donations, and for many provides a lifeline during a time of dwindling SNAP benefits and hefty heating bills.

We are so grateful for monetary donations from Valerie Graham and the Vermont Community Foundation, Sharon Richards and Douglas Weaver and the Richards Weaver Family Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Alexandra Lehman, Anne Mahoney (in tribute to Pati Naritomi), Donna and Remo Pizzagalli, the Charlotte-Shelburne-Hinesburg Rotary, Leslie and Hugh Jr. Lewis, Champlain Valley Telecom, Rocki-Lee Dewitt, Jennifer and Joseph Dickerman, Elizabeth Poulsen, Danielle Hall-Potvin, Karen and Michael Frost, Beth Anne Systma, Kathleen Nolan, Bill Lockwood, Diane and Peter Rosenfeld, Elizabeth Bassett, Maria Grindle, Kathleen Anne Reo, Janet Landrigan, Susan Hyde, Christy and John Hagios with proceeds from their “berry patch,” M. Teena and Richard Flood, Gerard Werle, Carleen Tufo, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Beth and Christopher Merritt, Kevin Pumiglia and the Jan Blomstrann Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation.

We thank James and Rozann Wadleigh, Mary Tierney and Elizabeth Kearns for their donations in memory of John Lavigne, and Elizabeth Kearns for her donation in honor of Jan and Ted LeBlanc.

Twelve households representing the Crosswind and Sanctuary Neighborhoods worked together to provide a much-appreciated monetary donation, which honored the memory of William (Bill) Posey. We thank Kathleen Posey, Lenore and Myron Sopher, Eleanor and Mark Capeless, Jan and Larry Sudbay, Karen and David Hurwitt, Carolyn and John Kovac, Heather and John Dwight, Lell and Rey Forehand, Lynne and Scott Jaunich, Loretta and Kirk Walters, Annie Kelton and Tom Cosinuke, and Kara and Jon Landry for their gifts in memory of Bill.

As we welcome this new year, please note that food distribution continues this month on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 4-6 pm. During this COVID surge, masking is appreciated and masks are available.

Our address is 403 Church Hill Road, behind the Charlotte Congregational Church. For emergency food, or if you cannot come to the food shelf due to COVID symptoms, please call 802- 425-3252

Please note that the food shelf has utility and other assistance available to residents of Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh. If you or someone you know is facing 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 at

Monetary donations are appreciated, tax deductible and can be addressed to: Charlotte Food Shelf, Inc., P.O Box 83, Charlotte VT 05445. An easy, new way to donate is through the PayPal button on the website address listed above. For those able to donate food products, our current wish list includes juice, popcorn, coffee, tea, crackers, peanut butter and cookies.

The food shelf volunteers wish you joy and health in the new year.