Author: Megan

Update on Coronavirus

It’s tough these days to update our network on the impact of the coronavirus. Info seems to be tripping over itself and things are changing so quickly—it’s hard to keep up and we know that’s a challenge for everyone.

We are doing the best we can to get accurate information. That said, we have cancelled our upcoming “HANDS in the Kitchen” workshop series and are on hold with our “HANDS in the Dirt” garden programming until the situation becomes clearer.

We’re partnering with the Heineberg Senior & Community Center to set up a local buddy system with volunteers and homebound seniors. The program will include everything from phone check-ins to delivering groceries. OUR UTMOST CONCERN IS THE HEALTH OF SENIORS SO WE WILL TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION.

We’ll post again when we have more info and updates. Stay healthy!

Springing Ahead

We’re “springing ahead” this weekend…and that makes me feel hopeful that our gardens are just around the corner. We’re getting sites lined up and looking forward to getting our hands in the dirt (pun intended) alongside gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi. And Chef Robin is planning heart-healthy “HANDS in the Kitchen” nutrition education workshops that are really fun with hands-on activities and food to taste.

In a world that feels like it spins out of control too much of the time, our programs are simple but rewarding beyond measure. Ed gets to garden again after not having a place to grow vegetables for far too long. Roni learns new ways to eat better after heart surgery. As our programs gear up again, we’ll keep you posted! Thanks, always, for your support.

Today feels cozy and wintery, the time of year when so many of us turn thoughts and plans toward gathering together to share friendship. We can take that for granted…that we are surrounded by loved ones. But, many of the folks we serve are more isolated due to illness, living far from family, and the responsibility of taking care of a partner at home. Our hot meal and giftbag delivery on Christmas Day will, hopefully, add some fun and connection for these seniors.

We’d love help with our goal of getting items for the giftbags as well as meeting our fundraising needs. Please go to www.handsvt.org/wish-list to lend a hand. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

 

It’s snowing!

It feels too early for a snowstorm, but that’s what we’ve got today. And, since we’ve already started planning the Holiday Dinner on Christmas, the snow feels just about right. Between both the sitdown dinner and a meal delivery around the county, we think there will be at least 700 meals and giftbags provided.

Thank goodness for the help of Age Well, Burlington School Food Project, Michelle Charron, Elks Club, Penny Cluse Café, Temple Sinai, and so many other businesses, individuals, and volunteers. The community support is beyond heartwarming. If you would like to lend a hand, please go to www.handsvt.org/wish-list. Thank you so much!

Changing Seasons

The summertime was wonderful. We were able to have “HANDS in the Dirt” gardening programs at a number of different sites…everything from donated plants from Red Wagon Plants to full-on weekly programs. The harvest is continuing at some of the sites and that is so delightful. We also provided a “HANDS in the Kitchen” nutrition education 8-week workshop series. And our partnership with Feeding Chittenden’s “Good Food Truck” to get a hot meal delivered weekly to low-income seniors in Winooski continues.

Many of us feel some level of melancholy as the seasons shift from summertime to autumn. We say goodbye to swimming and boating and hiking. We feel the air getting cooler, see the leaves changing colors.

So, that means it’s time to start the planning for our annual Holiday Dinner on Christmas Day. Folks 50 years and older will be able to either have a hot meal and giftbag delivered to their home or gather together to share a meal. The whole community comes together to bring some joy to folks who might otherwise be alone. You, too, can lend a hand! We’ll need everything from giftcards to hand-knitted hats and scarves to canned goods to financial donations. Please check www.handsvt.org/wish-list to see how you can help. Thanks so much and enjoy the colorful leaves and the crispy mornings!

The old and the new…

The old year has left us and the new is underway. On Christmas Day, we helped get 700 hot meals and giftbags to seniors all over the county….our biggest effort ever! Thanks to so many of you who donated giftbag items, delivered meals, served folks, giftwrapped, donated money—every bit helped to create a remarkable community event.

Now, we’re planning garden programs for the spring and summer as well as wishing we had more of Chef Robin’s time to provide her fabulous “HANDS in the Kitchen” workshops. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

Thank YOU!

In this season of gratitude, I want to thank YOU for helping us to provide food to low-income seniors. Through meal deliveries, gardening programs, and nutrition education workshops, we’re filling some gaps.

From now until Christmas Day, we’ll be organizing two meal options—both a meal delivery as well as a sitdown dinner—and gathering items for 500 giftbags to be delivered all over the county on Christmas Day. Thanks for being an angel among us and part of a remarkable community!

Gearing Up

We’re gearing up for the holiday season. That will include a flurry of activity surrounding Holiday Dinner plans for both a delivered meal and sitdown dinner, giftbags, and fundraising. We can’t do it without you! We’re thrilled to announce that Jess Hyman will be helping to coordinate volunteers and manage the giftbag items and giftwrapping events. If you’d like to volunteer over the next few months or want to donate some goodies for our giftbags, please contact Jess Hyman at jessicahymanvt@gmail.com. If you’d like to reserve a meal or donate to our fundraising efforts, please contact Megan Humphrey at handsvt@gmail.com. Thank you!

Springtime News

It feels as though springtime is dragging her feet this year. There were snowflakes in the air again today! Yesterday, Michelle (Vermont Community Garden Network), Kris (St. Joseph’s Home), Theresa (our HANDS intern), and I met outside in the chill to plan this year’s “HANDS in the Dirt” garden program there—it’s a new site and we’re thrilled to get some seniors outside growing veggies and herbs.

Bibens Ace Hardware added to our excitement when they donated some garden tools for St. Joseph’s. Thank you, David!

We’re finalizing this summer’s garden programs at senior housing and long-term nursing centers and we’ll be announcing those soon. We’ll have a nice mix of locations that participated last year and some new gardens.

We had our 6th Annual “A Show of HANDS” fundraiser last week and raised $8,000. Thanks to everyone who donated artwork, made a bid, or donated…money raised will go directly toward our gardening programs.

Spring to Summer

Time flies as we shift from wintertime to planning our summer gardens. With snow on the ground, it’s fun to imagine the smell of green and the feel of sunshine-filled dirt. We’ll be deciding on where we’ll have garden sites, including as many seniors as we possibly can. Thanks to Vermont Community Garden Network, gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi, and many of you, we can dream of getting fresh veggies to low-income seniors.