“HANDS in the Kitchen” Nutrition Education

Chef Robin Teaching a Cooking ClassWe’re thrilled that Chef Robin hosts our “HANDS in the Kitchen” workshops. She offers cooking suggestions and lots of education about all of the great fresh food that we can include in our own menus. And it’s always lovely to share food together at the end of each class. Workshops are FREE to anyone 50 years or older thanks to funding from HANDS and Vermont Community Garden Network among others.

The series includes cooking hints, nutrition tips, how to shop on a budget, cooking for one, and taste-testing. There’s a different theme each week so we always leave with great tips.

“HANDS in the Dirt”

We had a fabulous gardening season at Elderwood, Ethan Allen Residence, and Our Lady of Providence. And we were able to donate plants and/or tools to Canal Street Veterans Housing, Heineberg Housing, McKenzie House, St. John’s Hall, St. Joseph’s Residential Care Home, and Winooski Senior Center. Very special thanks to AARP, Gardeners Supply, Charlie Nardozzi, Red Wagon Plants, and Vermont Community Gardening Network for partnering with us this summer!

Gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi, presenting a workshop at Elderwood

Please check out this video in which Todd Bowling is the star, at the St. Michael’s College veterans garden site in 2016.

Holiday Dinner

Now in our 15th year, we help to provide a non-denominational meal delivery throughout Chittenden County as well as a shared sitdown dinner on Christmas Day. We partner with Age Well, Burlington School Food Project, Michelle Charron, Elks Club, Penny Cluse Café, and Temple Sinai as well as hundreds of volunteers and businesses.

Some years ago, Age Well (formerly Champlain Valley Agency on Aging) requested that we take over their Christmas Day meal delivery program. This year, we prepared and delivered about 400 meals to older Vermonters. In addition, we collaborated with the Elks Club to help provide a delightful sit-down dinner for another 400 seniors and their families. Each person received a wrapped giftbag which, in many cases, was the only gift that a senior received during the holiday season.

We depend on volunteers and businesses to provide donations for the meals and giftbags, wrap gifts, make the meals, staff the sit-down dinner, donate money, and deliver meals. On behalf of older Vermonters, of whom 7,800 experience some form of food insecurity according to 2013 Hunger Free Vermont statistics, thank you so much for your generosity in lending a hand!

We’ll be offering meals again on Christmas Day this year.

Meal Delivery

In partnership with Feeding Chittenden’s “Good Food Truck” and the SASH program at Winooski Housing Authority, we help get weekly hot, healthy meals to Canal Street Veterans Housing and other seniors in Winooski.

Ray at Canal Street Veterans Housing, getting a hot meal from the Good Food Truck


HANDS was fortunate enough to be contacted by NPR’s StoryCorps in the summer of 2016. Megan Humphrey interviewed Charlie Auer, of “Charlie’s Boathouse” fame, about food long ago in Burlington. Please sit back, relax, and listen to Charlie’s delightful stories.