Consider helping food shelf meet increasing demand

Throughout Vermont demand at food shelves is soaring. This is attributed, in part, to higher food costs, an end to pandemic emergency allotment aids that boosted SNAP benefits, inflation, rent or mortgage costs, the opioid crisis and the effect of summer’s flooding on homes and businesses.

The Vermont Food Bank notes an increase in need from the majority of the 300 organizations it serves. It was allocated $3 million fiscal year 2024 by the state and, for fiscal year 2025, is requesting $5 million.

Mitigation plans are in the works, and the Farm to Plate Network has recently presented a food security roadmap to the state legislature which delineates a goal to eliminate food insecurity by 2035. This roadmap strives to both increase economic development by creating jobs in Vermont’s food and farm sector and improve access to healthy local foods for all Vermonters.

Photo by Peggy Sharpe
These are some of the delicious baked goods donated by community bakers to the food shelf for Valentine’s Day.
Photo by Peggy Sharpe These are some of the delicious baked goods donated by community bakers to the food shelf for Valentine’s Day.

In addition, last year the Universal School Meals Act became law, helping to address child hunger. Our federal and state government, community and citizens continue to work together to reduce food insecurity.

Here in Charlotte, the food shelf is striving to meet increased demand and, in April, will increase the number of days on which food is distributed. The new distributions being added are scheduled for the second and fourth Saturday of each month, from 9-11 a.m. The full distribution schedule now includes: the second and fourth Wednesday of each month (4-6 p.m.) and the second and fourth Saturday of each month (9-11 a.m.).

The food shelf is entirely dependent on donations. We thank the following generous community members for their contributions: Susan Hyde, Susan Leonard and the Leonard Giving Fund, Anne Mason, Martine RIchards, Richard Mintzer, Cynthia Robinson, Julian Kulski, Barry and Susan Cluff ( in honor of Greg and Lynn Cluff), Margaret Berlin, Hannaford Fight Hunger Bag Program, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, the Cervi Family, anonymous, Horsford Gardens and Nursery, Charles and Elisabeth DesLauriers, Margaret Berlin, Maurice Harvey and Mary Mead, Christopher and Susanne Davis, Richard Pete, Lynn and Greg Cluff and Christine McBride.

We also appreciate all the cookie party participants who participated in making homemade goodies for the December holiday baskets.

Many thanks are also due to our extraordinary community bakers this month. Their efforts were amazing and our families were thrilled to have such lovely treats for Valentine’s Day.

How the food shelf can help?
Food is provided at 403 Church Hill Road behind the Charlotte Congregational Church on the second and fourth Wednesday, 4-6 p.m., and second and fourth Saturday, 9-11 a.m. of each month. For emergency food, or if you cannot come to the food shelf due to COVID symptoms, please call 802-425-3252.

The food shelf also has limited utility, rent, medical, dental, school supply (including school shoes) and other emergency 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 on our website

How you can help?
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.

The following donations of non-perishables are always helpful: crackers, granola bars, small bags of snacks, paper towels, toilet paper.

We need additional volunteers for both shopping and distributions. A van or large vehicle would be useful for shopping excursions, though not required. Please email Peggy Sharpe at [email protected] for more information if interested.