Are you in the midst of planting a vegetable garden? The Colchester Food Shelf asks you to join us in helping to provide fresh, local produce to those we serve in the community who may not otherwise be able to afford it. By adding just one extra row of vegetables in your garden, you will have additional bounty to harvest and share with those most in need. The following vegetables keep well and are offered as suggestions for you to consider planting extra to donate: green or wax beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and squash. When possible, vegetables should be dropped off on Tuesday mornings so we can distribute all the produce between Tuesday and Thursday.

Food insecurity is a real issue, affecting many in our state. Nearly 85,000 Vermonters, including over 27,000 children, live in households that lack access to enough food to fully meet the basic needs of their families due to lack of financial resources. Resources are so limited that these families often run out of food, reduce the quality of food they provide or skip meals so that their children can eat.

Here at the food shelf, we typically see a decline in donations during the summer months, while the needs of the families that we serve increase. Once school is out, many of our local children are especially vulnerable to hunger as they lose access to breakfast and school lunch programs. If you know of a family that may be facing these upcoming challenges, please remind them we are available for support. Families can also email to sign up for the Colchester Summer Lunch Program. We thank you for your continued support of the food shelf. The success of our organization has always depended greatly on the generosity and involvement of our community. Also thank you to our out-going board member, Angie Ferenc, for putting this information together.

Have a great summer and a plentiful garden.