With help from the Vermont Foodbank, local food shelf Aunt Dot’s Place can now offer even more healthy food
This year, our network partner food shelf, Aunt Dot’s Place received a grant from the Vermont Foodbank to purchase a refrigerator so that they are able to store and distribute more fresh, healthy food. Learn more in this guest blog post from Aunt Dot’s Place.
At the end of August, Aunt Dot’s Place, a community food shelf, celebrated its one year anniversary. We have come far with the help of our volunteers, community members and businesses, and the Vermont Foodbank. We have registered over 200 families from our target communities that are encouraged to visit us twice monthly for food. With the increased number of clients and our commitment to provide a variety of food types and especially fresh fruits and veggies, we had a need for more refrigerator space. Our increased partnerships with grocery stores through the retail store recovery program supplies us with more fresh produce and fruits along with prepared sandwiches and salads; these products were taking up our available refrigerator space. We also know that during the summer, community members and farms donate excess produce to Aunt Dot’s Place so refrigerator space was at a premium – a nice problem to have but still a problem! The Vermont Foodbank grant allowed us to purchase a large stand alone refrigerator. This allowed us to not only have ample room for the local store and community member donations of items that required refrigeration to ensure their quality and longevity, but also we had enough room to routinely offer purchased eggs and butter along with any other donated dairy items (IE: cheese, yogurt, etc) with the goal to include milk in the future as our funds increase.
Donations from our community and the local grocery stores has more than doubled in the last six months as we have increased community presence and formed more and increasing partnerships with local stores. The addition of the refrigerator purchased with help from the Vermont Foodbank grant guarantees, that at least for the immediate future, we will have the space to properly store items that require refrigeration while increasing our dairy items.
We are located at 51 Center Road in Essex. Our hours are Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Saturday mornings 9:00-11:00 a.m. Contact/donation/general information is available at www.auntdotsplace.com. Aunt Dot’s currently serves communities of Essex, Essex Junction, Jericho, Underhill and Westford. With each shift that we are open, we serve more people, helping to alleviate food insecurity in our community.