Community Food Cupboard a valuable resource for seniors

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Many seniors living in the Northshire are widows or widowers, now living alone, and trying to manage all of the expenses of maintaining a household on one Social Security check. They call this "aging in place." Many months, it may seem like that amount just can't be stretched far enough to cover everything.

There is hope!

It is the Community Food Cupboard. Although not strictly for seniors, it certainly is a resource available to anyone who is under the income limits. If you go, you will be asked for proof of residency - this resource serves the communities of Bondville, Danby, Dorset, East Dorset. Jamaica, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Middletown Springs, Mount Tabor, Pawlet, Peru, Rupert, Sandgate, Weston, Winhall, Wells, West Pawlet, and West Rupert.     

Director Martha Carey will get you signed in initially and will ask you to confirm that you are within the income limit - $22,311 per year/$1,860 per month for a single, $30,044 per year/$2,504 per month for a couple. Then you are good to go. By the way, these are income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Assistance Program. Each time you go back, you will be asked to check in via the CFC notebook.

Because all of the food items are donated, by the kindness of your neighbors and by retail merchants, plus what comes in via a truck from the Vermont Food Bank, it could be milk, boxed goods, canned foods, fresh fruit, other produce, breads, yogurt, or frozen items. You are encouraged to bring your own bags or a box to carry the items you choose. Volunteers are there to help you know if there are any limits on quantity for specific items. Someone may even help you carry your bag out to your vehicle. You decide what you like and what you can use.

There is no charge for using this resource. Currently, the Cupboard is available from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday, from 10 a.m-12 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month.

Please note: If you have not been there before: the three-sided tent outside the Town Office building with tables stacked with food like bread, peanut butter, jelly, fruit is not part of the Community Food Cupboard. That operation provides food items to families whose children have signed up through their schools to provide summer lunches. Enter the building through the main door, Food Cupboard is the first door on the left.

Now, if you live in Arlington or Sunderland (or Sandgate), there is a Food Cupboard for you in East Arlington, across from the firehouse. Their hours are: 1:30-4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month, and 3:30-6 p.m. on the third Tuesday. In case someone needs them at other times, that can be arranged by asking at any one of the churches in Arlington or by phoning 802-375-6328.

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By the way, all you seniors, did you know that if you apply for and are approved for 3SquaresVT (food stamps), you do not need to use the "EBT" card? Your "benefits" can be deposited directly into your checking account.

Marian Haines lives in Manchester.


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