Food shelf seeks assistance

B y Jaime Thomas

The decorations and the Christmas trees have (hopefully) been put away, and with them, the season’s spirit of giving has disappeared as well.

Our Neighbor’s Table food bank in Wells knows this too well.

Director Michelle Bates said between January and April is the worst time of the year for donations, which doesn’t correlate with need.

“It’s these months when everyone’s broke; we get very few donations from people,” Director Michelle Bates said, figuring holiday-spending debt and a wait for tax returns are to blame.

The bank has seen a seen a slight increase in usage since last year and feeds 40 to 45 families two times each month. What’s unique at Our Neighbor’s Table is that any Wells resident can come for food, no questions asked.

“We don’t have to answer to any higher power,” Bates said. Becky Corey, a volunteer, said sometimes a family might need help just once because an unexpected expense arises. Others have been laid off and face tough choices.

“Are they going to be warm or have medicine or eat?” Corey asked. The shelf is able to maintain its open offering partially because the town votes to give them $2,000 each year. And Bates said Wells is lucky to have 15 to 20 volunteers who keep everything running smoothly.

While some have questioned the possibility of residents taking advantage of the no-questions-asked policy, Bates said a Vermont Food Bank director told her it’s more important to concentrate on the 90 percent that actually need the assistance.

The shelf does receive some food donations—there is even a couple with a local camp that comes from Albany every weekend with food—and Bates said that is extremely helpful. However, financial donations are few and far between and are very important.

As a member of the Vermont Food Bank, Our Neighbor’s Table gets a lot more bank for its food buck than a person in a grocery store.

“That $10 gets the food shelf $40 worth of food through the Vermont Food Bank,” Bates said. Additionally, the food shelf pays attention to nutrition and tries to provide fresh food as well as frozen and canned staples.

Corey explained the bank is filling a need but some people, especially the elderly, are too stubborn to ask for assistance.

“It’s not a handout—it’s a help up. It’s filling a need,” she said, adding that she occasionally makes deliveries for those who are shy and also gives out recipes to people who are interested.

Others, however, recognize the resource and embrace a chance to visit with other members of their community.

“People come early to socialize with neighbors,” Bates said.

The food shelf is open from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, but volunteers are available any time and can make deliveries.

Volunteers will sell ready meals and baked goods on town meeting day—March 4—to raise funds.

Those interested in donating money or food can send it to Our Neighbor’s Table, PO Box 914, Wells, Vt., 05774 or drop it in the donation box at the Wells town office. For more information call Bates at 802-645-0934, Corey at 802-783-8036 or Carole at 802-325-3578.

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

Poultney Earth Fair Wednesday, April 22

IMG_1984

7th graders choose Earth Fair theme By Joshua Bassett The eighth annual Poultney Earth Fair is going to be different […]

Northshire Freepress – 04/17/15

Lakes Classifieds – 04/17/15

North Country Freepress – 04/17/15

Weekender – 04/17/15

Classifieds 04/15/14

Golden Horde teams to grace hall of fame

1930 Football Team

By Derek Liebig A pair of fabled gridiron teams from Granville’s past will be enshrined in the Capital Region Football […]

Eleven petitions out for Whitehall Board of Education

Board of Ed 2014

By Dan King A tumultuous school year has prompted a record number of candidates to seek seats on the Whitehall […]

Fans fawn over Mick Foley

DSC_1051

By Dan King While his act in the ring may have been barbaric, the mood of Mick Foley’s meet-and-greet in […]

Hope Ludwig to have photo in Hyde Collection

Hope Ludwig Photo

By Derek Liebig An aspiring young photographer from Granville is among a select group of high school students who will […]

Granville tennis opens with win

Granville’s tennis team opened its season Monday afternoon with a win over Whitehall. The Horde swept both doubles matches and […]

New beverage store taking shape

Beverage Store Photo

By Joshua Bassett Lori Linendoll, a co-owner of The Beverage Warehouse, walked through the building, stepping around paint canisters and […]