Putney Foodshelf asks community to look for red, yellow, and white

PUTNEY — Yellow means getting pretty low, and red means nearly empty!

What are we talking about?

Have you noticed the homemade sandwich board on the corner of Main Street and Christian Square? It's the easiest way someone traveling through Putney can learn that there is a food pantry in town, unless you are hungry and in need and ask someone who knows about it.

Then, we hope, you have discovered the Putney Foodshelf at the Community Center on Christian Square. And, we hope, you have stopped in on either Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. or Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m. to fill a bag of healthy food to supplement your supply.

Plenty of people do! The Foodshelf serves approximately 40 families a month. That figure translates into at least 400 people a month getting food weekly, or twice weekly if their need is great.

Anyone can come - we don't ask for names or financial information. We do collect numbers to make sure you get enough food if you have a big family and so we can report to the Vermont Foodbank (of which we are a network agency partner) as well as the town of Putney (which gives us money - thank you, taxpayers!).

As most people know, times are not getting easier - they are getting tougher. Subsidies for 3SquaresVT (food stamps) have been reduced. Can you imagine shopping or eating on a $30-a-week budget?

We're noticing an increase in the number of people using the Foodshelf. We are happy to help, but that means the Putney community needs to help as well.

We are hauling more than 300 pounds of food a week from the Vermont Foodbank distribution warehouse. And we always accept help from folks who give us bags or boxes of food as well as cash donations. Most weeks we go through 400 to 500 pounds of food. Some weeks are harder than others to keep up with the demand.

We are fortunate that Putney is a giving community. We are well-supported. But we will continue to need your constant help.

Back to that sandwich board. If it is white - we're good. If it is yellow - we could use some donations. And when it is red - well, we are critically low on food and could sure use a quick response from the community!

Donating to the Foodshelf is easy. We have a donation bin outside the far ramp-door entrance to the Community Center. If you drop anything off, we'd love it if you'd tuck in a note saying who you are so we can thank you.

We ask that folks don't drop by during open hours. Leave donations before or after, or call us to schedule a time. (Call Putney Family Services at 802-387-2120. They generously relay messages to us.)

Monetary donations can be mailed to the Foodshelf at P.O. Box 337, Putney VT 05346. We are not yet recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit, but we are under the umbrella of the Community Center, so your donations are tax-deductible.

Thanks for keeping your eyes peeled when driving through Putney.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates