Being laid off or just having one’s job substantially cut back can throw many individuals and families into a financial crisis. Making ends meet in a time of crisis is a challenge many are experiencing in the community now and one result is food insecurity.
Those who work in the local food distribution system report an increased need for food assistance and challenges for those who are at high risk for COVID-19 and need to stay home. In addition, many local residents may be in need of other types of support that community volunteers can provide.
Town Administrator Renae Marshall announced the creation of a local network of service organizations with volunteers who can help meet new needs.
Details are on the town website at hinesburg.org along with a new online Google form where people who would like to volunteer may sign up, and those who need assistance may make a request. The form is online at tinyurl.com/HinesburgSupport. Anyone with questions may contact Marshall at email@example.com or 482-2281 ext. 222.
Here are some details regarding several local efforts to help meet those needs.
Hinesburg Food Shelf
Open Tuesday 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Volunteers pack up groceries and bring them out to people in their cars. Anyone who is ill or homebound and in need of an order from the Food Shelf may call 482-4946 to arrange for delivery.
The Food Shelf welcomes new patrons during this time to pick up pantry goods and fresh and frozen foods. New patrons should bring proof of residence from one of the towns the Food Shelf serves (Hinesburg, Huntington, Monkton or Saint George). A personal ID or a piece of mail will do.
Those who wish to support the Food Shelf at this time are encouraged to make a financial contribution which allows staff to purchase food in bulk from the Vermont Foodbank and seek out items most needed. Details are online at hinesburgresource.org. There also is a collection bin at Lantman’s for people to contribute non-perishable items they purchase when they shop for groceries.
With the help of volunteers, Lantman’s is offering grocery delivery to the elderly, sick or anyone who is unable to purchase grocery items themselves. Working with town officials, a phone line with voicemail has been set up for people to place orders. Call 482-8115 and follow the voicemail instructions. A volunteer will reply to arrange for payment and delivery.
Little Free Pantry
The United Church of Hinesburg hosts the Little Free Pantry, a cupboard of free food items outside the Osborne Parish Hall with the motto, “Take what you need, leave what you can.”
Volunteers have organized a system to keep this pantry stocked with non-perishable items. They ask individuals from designated areas of Hinesburg to restock the cupboard on specific days of the week. “We offer this in the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor during this stressful time,” organizer Lori Mckenna said in a recent Front Porch Forum post.
The areas and days are: Area 1 (Sunday), Shelburne Falls Road; Area 2 (Monday), CVU, Mechanicsville, Pond Road; Area 3 (Tuesday), Richmond Road, Magee Hill; Area 4 (Wednesday), North Road, Texas Hill, Hayden Hill; Area 5 (Thursday), South Hinesburg, Lincoln Hill, Hollow Road; Area 6 (Friday), Hinesburg Village, Buck Hill, Gilman Road; Area 7 (Saturday), Charlotte Road, Silver Street, Baldwin Road.
Donations labeled “Little Free Pantry” are also welcome by check to United Church of Hinesburg, P.O. Box 39, Hinesburg, VT 05461. Reach Mckenna for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.