October 21, 2014

Keeping hunger out of Williston

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The Williston Fire Department will park this antique fire truck on the town green on July 3 and 4 to collect donations for the Williston Community Food Shelf.

The Williston Fire Department will park this antique fire truck on the town green on July 3 and 4 to collect donations for the Williston Community Food Shelf.

Food Shelf seeks boost in summer donation slump
By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff
The Williston Community Food Shelf is hoping to boost contributions with two initiatives this summer—a time of year when donations typically slow down.
The food shelf is hosting a Fill a Fire Truck Food Drive during the Fourth of July celebrations. Williston Fire Department staff will park an antique fire truck on the town green in front of the Little White Schoolhouse and collect food on July 3 and 4.
“Let’s see if we can fill a fire truck, because the shelves are bare at the food shelf right now,” said Jen Daudelin, a food shelf volunteer. “I stopped by the other day and it’s sad to see that the shelves are so empty. There’s such a huge need during the summertime.”
The Williston Community Food Shelf serves around 180 families monthly, with total monthly visits exceeding 220. Donations usually slow down in the summer, when families are busy with vacations and other plans.
Residents can bring non-perishable, undamaged current-date food items to the Fill a Fire Truck drive. Volunteers will also march in the parade on July 4, collecting food and monetary donations.
“We’re extremely grateful for anything that we can get to help keep the hunger out of Williston,” Daudelin said.
The food shelf also recently introduced The Fresh Initiative, a new, three-part program focused on helping families make healthy food choices.
Each month, food shelf staff will select and stock a fruit or vegetable as its food of the month, “with the primary goal of the initiative being to significantly increase the availability of fresh produce for our customers,” Marie Gray, food shelf volunteer, wrote in an email to the Observer.
The food shelf will also provide recipes handouts highlighting the featured product to help customers incorporate the food into their diets. Three times each month, food shelf volunteers will make one of the recipes from the handout to share, promoting the food of the month while creating a sense of community.
“To date, the Fresh Initiative has been very well received by customers excited to find more produce on our shelves,” Gray wrote.
Gray encouraged residents to donate produce.
“As gardens grow bountiful, we ask that readers consider a donation of fresh produce, especially of those items that do not require refrigeration, in support of the Fresh Initiative,” she wrote. “It should be noted that at this time of year, when donations tend to decrease at the same time as need increases due to school vacation, the food shelf is particularly appreciative of any and all donations from our community.”
For more information or to donate via PayPal, visit www.willistonfoodshelf.com.

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