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To the editor: Now that nearly a year has passed since the start of this pandemic, the Putney Foodshelf wants to recognize the tremendous support the Foodshelf has received over the past year. This support has come in many forms, from volunteerism to donor support, to donations of fresh produce and eggs, and so much more. We have seen that the people who live in these hills and in this valley have deep compassion, generosity, and the capacity to meet a moment of challenge in remarkable ways. We can all take heart in knowing that.

As we wrap up our annual appeal, we find that people’s generosity has exceeded our expectations. We couldn’t have provided the Foodshelf's service to the community without it. We’ve received donations from government stimulus checks, employee matching gifts, local business sponsorships, proceeds from benefit events and special sale items, COVID grant funding, gifts given and then given again from both loyal and new donors, and our sustaining donor pool has grown to carry us forward. All of that is to say, Putney Foodshelf has landed, one year into a pandemic, in a secure position to serve our community in the year ahead.

Currently, we are open every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. with drive-up service. Home deliveries are available locally. In addition, we co-sponsor a monthly Food Drop at Carol Brown Way (fourth Thursday of the month, 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.). Our Food4Kids program provides a weekly nutritious snack bag to Putney Central School students, and a new partnership with Le Picnic is turning out 30 healthy and enticing bento meals for the kids each week from the Next Stage kitchen. We continue working with Putney Mutual Aid to bring Everyone Eats! meals to Putney every Monday.

Looking ahead, we are exploring new ways to improve the quality of the food we provide. Paying closer attention to the “healthy” part of our mission “to provide supplemental healthy food to area people in need,” we are inspired by the concept of “Food as Medicine.” We remain focused on providing friendly and efficient service, seeking to make each moment of human connection with our shoppers count. We offer shoppers not only a warm welcome and their choice of food, but also resource information about health and human services.

Right now we pause to recognize what a year it has been, and to thank all the individuals who have supported us along the way, for joining us in this work, and for being a partner in helping to make sure everyone has the food they need, always.

P.S. If you would like to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Putney Foodshelf, please send your email address to putneyfoodshelf@gmail.com, to receive our quarterly e-newsletter.

Hannah Pick, executive director

Putney Foodshelf, Inc., Feb. 12

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