Charlotte Food Shelf mourns the death of Louise McCarren

The Charlotte Food Shelf is deeply saddened by the death of our friend and colleague, Louise McCarren. In equal measure, we are grateful to have known and worked alongside her.

Louise was a successful businesswoman, a lawyer by training, who worked in civic service in and outside of Vermont, including spearheading the New England Energy Project, which helped low-income people dealing with rising cost of utilities.

She retired to do volunteer work with a vigor, graciousness and humility that amazed us all. She would arrive at the food shelf, always saying “whatever you need, whatever you need,” with a big smile and big energy to match. Whether it was purchasing a cow for our meat distribution, hauling in a load of fresh fruits to fill the holiday baskets or delivering food to shut-ins, Louise was always generous with her time and gifts. She frequently recognized a need and did what was needed, without requests or fanfare, in a way that was thoughtful, personalized and discreet.

Louise loved tennis, ice hockey, volunteerism and her community. She loved flower gardens, cultivating more than 150 varieties of peonies that would be celebrated with a “Peony Walk” party. In the Spring, the Food Shelf will plant a peony in honor of Louise, our passionate, generous, delightful friend, for she was truly a beautiful force of nature. It was our privilege to know her, and we celebrate her memory.

Louise and Ed’s son, Willy Amidon, has invited friends and colleagues to a service for Louise and Ed at the Charlotte Congregational Church on Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. A Celebration of Life at the Old Lantern will follow.

We are so grateful to all our community for its support. We thank Diane Cote for her donation in memory of Shirley Marshall, Julie and Eliot Feibush for their donation in memory of Vera Louise McCarren, Gregory Chioffi and Kim Haley for their gift in memory of Bill Posey, and Nik Blasius for his donation of time and groceries. We appreciate the generosity of Remo and Donna Pizzagalli, Virginia Foster, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, the Vermont Foodbank, Jeffrey W. and Jolinda D. Smith and The Windham Foundation, and Shelburne Community School seventh graders Charlotte Flanagan, Grace Cowles and Lucy LeFrancois for their project on sustainable solutions to hunger in Vermont which sponsored a food drive that provided food and hygiene products to the food shelf.

The number of families the food shelf is assisting has risen, a part of the third of Vermonters who struggle to put food on the table. “Just Getting By,” a documentary by Bess O’Brien, explores the issue of hunger in our state. The film will be touring Vermont March 22-April 12. More information regarding the film and viewing locations and times can be found at

The Charlotte Food Shelf is striving to meet increased demand and, in April, will increase the number of days on which food is distributed, adding a Saturday distribution as noted below.

Food is provided at 403 Church Hill Road, behind the Charlotte Congregational Church on the second and fourth Wednesday, 4-6 p.m., and, beginning in April, additional distributions on the second and fourth Saturday, 9-11 a.m., each month. For emergency food, or if you cannot come to the Food Shelf due to COVID symptoms, call 802- 425-3252.

Note that the food shelf has limited utility, rent, medical, dental, school supplies and other emergency assistance available to Charlotte and North Ferrisburgh residents. If you, or someone you know, is facing 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 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 above.

The following donations of nonperishables are always helpful: crackers, canned soups, spaghetti sauce, breakfast cereals, granola bars, toilet paper and paper towels.