Putney Foodshelf wants to 'Top the Truck'

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PUTNEY — Running on empty is no way to live.

September is Hunger Action Month. The Putney Foodshelf, a non-profit organization which provides healthy supplemental food for area people in need, wants to Top the Truck on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., rain or shine.

This year the truck will be parked in the Tavern parking lot between the Gleanery Restaurant and the Putney Town Hall. The goal is to fill the truck to the top with bags of healthful, non-perishable foods. Volunteers will meet cars at curbside to take donations. Monetary contributions will also be accepted.

Sponsors of this, the fourth annual Top the Truck food drive, are Basketville and Soundview Paper Company.

Preferred non-perishable items include canned foods of all kinds (tuna fish, fruits, vegetables, meats, soups and chili), cereals, pastas and pasta sauce, peanut butter, boxed meals (macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper), and rice. The Putney Foodshelf counts on donations of food to help those who are struggling to feed their families. In 2016, the Putney Foodshelf distributed nearly 58,000 pounds of food to more than 7,000 people (2,414 of them children). This number represents a total of 75 un-duplicated households.

The Putney Foodshelf is open twice a week at its location in the Putney Community Center (side ramp entrance): Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m.

In addition, the Putney Foodshelf runs the Family Food Bag program, which serves five families (approximately 25 individuals) at Putney Central School. These families receive a bag of food on Fridays to assure they have adequate nutrition over the weekend. This program operates year-round.

Other Putney Foodshelf programs include occasional food demonstrations which feature available fresh produce. Teaching people how to prepare healthy foods easily and simply encourages healthy eating.

In partnership with the Vermont Foodbank, the Putney Foodshelf supports a food drop on the fourth Thursday of every month at Putney Meadows. This food drop includes primarily fresh produce and is aimed at helping those who can't get to the Foodshelf. People should bring their own bags.

Putney Foodshelf is also one of seven area food pantries participating in the Healthy Harvest Network program as they support one another in accessing and distributing healthy food, including local produce.

A 501(c)(3) organization, the Putney Foodshelf relies on volunteers and donations to fulfill its mission.          

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