Holiday Dinner

Now in our 17th year, we helped to provide a non-denominational meal delivery throughout Chittenden County on Christmas Day. We partnered with Age Well, Burlington School Food Project, Penny Cluse Café, and Temple Sinai as well as hundreds of volunteers and businesses. Despite the pandemic and rain, we delivered over 1,000 meals and giftbags! 

Very special thanks to “A Team” that includes Jordan Anthony, Holly Cluse, Doug Davis and his family, Mitzy Foy and her family, Tina & Tim Gibbo, Jess Hyman & Sean Melinn, Mark Larson & Amy Livingston, Chris Moldovan, Tim Palmer, Charles Reeves, Jeff Solomon & Linda Retchin, and Mara & Spencer Welton. We couldn’t have done it without their guidance, logistics planning during COVID, volunteer management, food prep, and all of the details in-between.  

Almost 200 volunteers donated 700 hours of their time during the holiday season. And 90 drivers delivered meals and giftbags. Each of you made someone’s day more special and we’re so grateful for that.

One senior said “I’m just calling to tell you how wonderful you made my Christmas. I’m having to isolate and I can’t visit with my children so this meant the world to me.” It shows that each of us DOES make a difference, even if it’s a small gesture. With much gratitude, thanks to each of you for “lending a hand”. 

Our History

Some years ago, Age Well (formerly Champlain Valley Agency on Aging) requested that we take over their Christmas Day meal delivery program. We’ve increased numbers ever since.  In 2019, we prepared and delivered about 350 meals to older Vermonters. In addition, we collaborated with the Elks Club to help provide a delightful sit-down dinner for another 450 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, 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!

How to Get Involved

Please Provide Donations for Giftbags

Every Christmas, we provide a giftbag with our meal deliveries—Shhh, please don’t tell the seniors! Due to safety concerns this year, we’re cancelling the sitdown dinner unfortunately. That means that we’ll be making more deliveries all over the county instead. We’ll need lots of giftbag donations and we’d love your help, please!

We try to stick with helpful basics and are always seeking:

  • Financial contributions in any amount
  • Canned goods & food items (soup, vegetables, canned tuna, meals in a can), jars of peanut butter, packages of peanut butter and crackers, healthy granola bars, jars of unsweetened applesauce, and large boxes of raisins
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, individual toothbrushes, soap, large boxes of tissues, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, shampoo, shaving cream, etc.)
  • Hats, gloves, or scarves for both men and women
  • Art supplies (colored pencils, drawing paper, adult coloring books)
  • Crossword puzzle books
  • Small LED flashlights with batteries
  • Energy efficient lightbulbs
  • $20 Hannaford grocery giftcards
  • Please, NO candles or sugar candy

Not sure what to give? Please check our Donation Tracker to see what items are most needed. Thank you!

If you would like to donate items, please contact Jess Hyman at jessicahymanvt@gmail.com. Thank you so much!

Volunteer

As part of the changes this year, we won’t be able to gather and giftwrap which is really sad. So, what would help out the most in this peculiar year is for you to donate a larger number of just one item from our wish list. That will make it so much easier for us to manage.

If you’re interested in just giftwrapping, please contact Jess Hyman at jessicahymanvt@gmail.com. If you’d like to purchase a number of the same items and giftwrap them yourself, that’s also great—please just make sure you stick a label on the whole batch so we know what it is. We have paper and tape if you’d like to pick that up in Burlington.

We’d also love help if you have knitting skills. We’re looking for handmade hats and scarves if you have the time. We have some yarn available, too. Thank you!
Volunteer Charlie Nardozzi, delivering a hot meal and giftbag to Loriman & Ellen Brigham
Picking up donations for gift bags from August First
This is what 1,000 giftbags looks like!
Volunteer Kim Torrey with her donated giftbag items
Volunteer Kristen Cameron dropping off a meal and giftbag
Dr. Mark Levine has been a volunteer for a few years, helping us deliver meals. Lucky us!

Support the Holiday Dinner