Wednesday, July 02, 2008


July Events and more

VENTURE VERMONT 2008 OUTDOOR CHALLENGE Go to the Vermont State Parks website: and print out a scorecard - when you keep track of activities that you've completed and reach a total of 250 points, you win free day entry into Vermont State Parks for the rest of the 2008 season and for the entire 2009 season! Entries must be received by October 15, 2008. Some of the activities include identifying animals and birds; becoming a Junior Ranger; going to a Green Mtn Conservation Camp, touring a fish hatchery, create art or write a poem or story, hike, go fishing, visit State Parks and some outdoor challenges such as building a shelter with natural objects, build a fire without matches or a lighter, Green Up, plant a tree. and more. ~~~
Berlin Community Swim Lessons - there are still some spots, especially for upper levels, open. Lessons are from July 7 -18 OR August 4 - 15. Contact Corinne
If you need any information on Reading Incentive programs this summer please let me know and I can send you the information on several.
Thursday, July 3rd "The Ant Bully" will be shown in the children's room at the Aldrich Library in Barre at 1pm. An animated feature rated PG. Story of a child who destroys ant mounds and is taught about bullying by shrinking to the size of an ant in the colony. Appropriate for ages 8 and up.
Thursday, July 3d -
Free afternoon swim at Montpelier Pool on Elm Street &
"Riddles in the Dark" No Strings Marionette performance 3:30pm on the State House Lawn in Montpelier
Kids are invited to decorate their bikes and ride with Onion River in the Montpelier parade. Kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Call 229-9409 for details.
for more 4th of July events on the 3rd in Montpelier see separate email
4th of July parades and activities afterward
Worcester 11am parade - chicken bbq, music, children's games, food vendors, K-9 demo, strawberry festival and more with fireworks at dusk
Randolph 10am parade followed by music and entertainment, food vendors, chili challenge, etc.
9th Annual Butterfly Count Saturday, July 5, starts at 9:00am Fee: $3 to NABA; donations to North Branch Nature Center welcomeJoin us for the ninth annual Central Vermont Butterfly Count! Whether you are a complete beginner or an avid expert, we need your help searching for Baltimore Checkerspots, Eyed Browns, Coral Hairstreaks and more. Much like a Christmas Bird Count, participants spend the day identifying and counting all the butterfly species in a predetermined area. Starting and end times are flexible. All are welcome
Sunday July 6, at 12:30 p.m. Middle Ages demo - Ever wondered what life was like in the Middle Ages? The Society for Creative Anachronism(SCA) is an international group of people who recreate the middle ages; its arts and crafts, food, music, battles and archery. The local Vermont shire of the SCA, known as Panther Vale, will be hosting a demonstration of some of what its members do on Sunday July 6, at 12:30 p.m. at Brookfield's Old Town Hall.
A variety of demonstrations and displays are expected including; youth combat, thrown weapons, bow making and bowstringing displays, a fencing demo, displays of medieval crafts such as illumination, glasswork, embroidery, and nal binding, music and more. Children can make blunt arrows, try on the chain mail and other armor.
The event is free and open to the public and of interest to both children and adults. Hope to see you there.

(Can't make this one? There will be a demo at the Christ Church lawn on State Street, Montpelier by the Farmers' Market on Saturday, September 6 or 13, 2008 from noon to 3pm )
Wednesday, July 9th 10:30 am –11:30 am Story Time at Berlin Elementary School!!! Presented by the Kellogg-Hubbard Library's Books on Wheels Rain or Shine! Kellogg-Hubbard Librarian Jane Napier brings the magic of books alive with potions that will turn you into something nasty, disgusting, dangerous, smelly and sweet! Kids of all ages (and grown-ups too) will enjoy the silliness!
COME JOIN THE FUN !!! For more information, call 223-4665
Thursday, July 10th - Middlesex "Maddub" 6:30pm - Funky, electronic rhythms, part of Free Summer Concert Series. Lawn seating, bring a picnic. Middlesex Bandstand. Info 223-4136 Rain site: Rumney school
July 11th at 3pm the clock starts ticking for .... The Montpelier BioBlitz - a project of the North Branch Nature Center.
Kellogg-Hubbard giant summer book sale continues through July 12th. You will find used, nearly-new and brand-new books, as well as audio books, music, videos, DVDs and more. Books are all arranged by subject for easy browsing. Don't forget to get your FREE library card while you're there!!~~~
July 11, 12, 13 SOLAR FEST in Tinmouth, VT (near Rutland) - for 14 years they've been celebrating the power of renewable energy, the arts, and community action to change the world. Learn how with over 60 workshops on renewable energy, sustainable living, the art of community, agriculture skills, green building, plus two solar-powered stages featuring great music. (Bare Foot Truth who the kids enjoyed this last year at Berlin Elem. will be performing there on Sunday) Tickets for the Solar Fest can be purchased at the gate.
at the top of the parking garage at dusk on East State Street in Montpelier
(note: if the weather is not good they tend to start them earlier than dusk inside the City Center)
Bring chairs or blankets to sit on and bring a snack with you also!
July 3rd - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire rated PG13
July 10th - Back to the Future rated PG
July 17th - Madagascar rated PG
July 24th - Sixteen Candles rated PG
July 31st - Shrek 2 rated PG
August 7th - Three Amigos rated PG
August 14th - Daddy Day Care rated PG
August 21st - Ferris Bueller's Day Off rated PG 13
These same movies show on other days at their Waterbury facility and at a parking garage in downtown Burlington - check with B&J for the days.
Free Monday Movies at Kellogg-Hubbard Library - July 7 - documentary "Microcosmos" 6:30pm appropriate for ages 8 and up. July 14th "The Ant Bully" an animated feature rated PG. Story of a child who destroys ant mounds and is taught about bullying by shrinking to the size of an ant in the colony. Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Don't forget to get your FREE library card while you're there!!

Free Monday Movies at Brookfield Old Town Hall will run now through Labor Day (not on July 7th). Every Monday beginning June 23rd there are two films scheduled, a family film at 7pm and a 9pm film favorite. Refreshments will be sold with the proceeds - and any donations from movie patrons - benefitting the work on the Old Town Hall. For more info including a schedule of films and film times: Some of the upcoming movies are: July 14 - The Secret of Roan Innish and His Girl Friday; July 21 The Kid and North by Northwest; and July 28 August Rush and Once.
Note: The Floating Bridge in Brookfield is currently closed to traffic although people can enjoy walking across!
Wednesday evening recreational family soccer 6-8pm this summer at East Montpelier Elementary School.
Wednesday evenings at 7pm free Band Concerts are held on the State House lawn in Montpelier from June through August. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and maybe a snack and ENJOY!~~~
Wednesday evenings in Barre there are also free concerts.7/2 Lewis Franco7/9 Colin McCaffrey & Jim Pitman7/16 Cold Country Bluegrass7/30 Rusty Romance8/13 Jon Noyes DJ8/20 Radio Rangers8/27 Sherri's Jubilee
Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont Admission is half-price for Vermont residents, thanks to a generous grant by Lois McClure. This makes it $9 for adults and $4.50 for kids 6-18 (free under 6). A family day pass for 2 adults and their children 6-18 would be $24. Hours are 10am - 5pm daily. Free parking. Check out the special events coming up
Interesting places to go in Vermont:
Berlin Community News
Vermont Summer Camps:
Vermont Mountaineers baseball with home games at the Montpelier Rec Field on Elm Street. Shuttle busses running from various locations in Montpelier. $4 adults, $3 sr, student or military, or Family ticket pack $10. Schedule:
FREE QuarryWorks performances at the Phillips Experimental Theater on the grounds of the Adamant Music School:Brigadoon - A Musical July 17-20 and July 24-27. Evening performances Thurs, Friday, Sat, Sun at 7:30pm. Matinees at 1pm on Sat. and 2pm on Sunday.Cinderella, Cinderella - for young audiences July 31 - August 3 and August 7-10. Evening performances Thurs & Fri at 7:30pm and Sat. at 5pm. Matinees at 1pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. All QuarryWorks performances are FREE, thanks to the Adamant Community Cultural Foundation. 229-9297
Lake Champlain Ferry to Ausable Chasm - I'm seeing a coupon in the Times Argus today (7/2) for round trip Burlington to Port Kent ferry and including admission to Ausable Chasm for four people in a car $65. Has anybody done this trip? Sounds like fun but I'd like to hear from somebody who has gone.~~~
Planning ahead.....
Jon Gailmor peformance August 6th 6:30pm at the Marshfield Library
Circus Smirkus August 11 - 13 at Montpelier High School
Used Musical Instruments Sale an annual event by CVSM will be on Saturday, August 23rd from 9am-2pm at the Bethany Church on Main St. in Montpelier. Instrument drop-off will be on Friday, August 22, from 4pm-7pm.
Northfield Labor Day Celebration
K-9's & Company on the State House Lawn September 6th. Central VT Humane Society offers this annual event
Fall Harvest Festival at the Adams Apple Orchard in Williston September 20 & 21 Free admission includes performances by the No Strings Marionette Company
Ski & Skate Sale October 25th - Montpelier Rec Dept new and used winter recreation equipment sale at Montpelier High School (they'll be taking equipment in on 23rd & 24th)
Gingerbread House Contest - The Central Vermont Community Land Trust will once again be holding a gingerbread house contest in November. Look for more details this fall. CVCLT provides affordable housing, property management, homebuyer education, lending, and community development services to communities in Central Vermont
AROUND TOWN:8-10AM Pancake Breakfast at Christ Church(sponsored by Christ Episcopal church)Noon Brown Bag Concert featuring Starline Rhythm Boys, Christ Church Park(sponsored by Coldwell Banker Classic Properties for MDCA)
1-2PM MDCA's Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony with free ice cream, Christ Church Park(sponsored by Casella Waste Management)
1-3PM Annual Library Lawn Party with Jeh Kulu Dance & Drum(sponsored by Kellogg Hubbard Library)
1:30-4 Family Fun Day at the Montpelier Pool--Free admission!(sponsored by Montpelier Recreation Department)2PM Lost Nation Theater performs "The Importance of Being Earnest" at City Hall Arts
3-5PM Mad Bavarians, strolling band(sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware)
6-6:30 Montpelier Mile Road Race, State St.(sponsored by Onion River Sports & the Montpelier Rotary Club)
8-Midnight Langdon St. Dance Party featuring Blue Fox & the Rockin' Daddies8-Midnight Julio's World Beat Dance Party with Mango Jam(sponsored by Julio's Cantina)

STATE HOUSE LAWN STAGE:(sponsored by National Life Group & Montpelier Pharmacy)3:30-4:30 PM No String Marionettes(sponsored by Northfield Savings Bank)
4:30-6 PM Rick & the Ramblers(Sponsored by Vermont Mutual Insurance Company)
7:30-8 PM Catamount Pipe Band(Sponsored by Times Argus)
8-9 PM Green Mountain Youth Symphony(Sponsored by Chittenden Bank)
9-9:20 PM PanAshe Steeldrum Band
3-10 PM Food & craft vendors, demonstrations & children's activitiesWe would like to thank our sponsors:

PARADE SPONSORS: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont; Capitol Plaza; Casella Waste Management; Cody Chevrolet; Community National Bank; Denis, Ricker & Brown; First in Fitness; Hunger Mountain Coop; Maple Capital Management; Noyle W. Johnson Insurance; Heney Realtors; The Shoe Horn; Union Mutual Fire Insurance; Lansky Family Dentistry

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Betsy's Bed & Breakfast; Beavin & Sons; Calmont Beverage; Connor contracting; DuBois Construction; Fecteau Homes; Inn at Montpelier; Julio's Cantina; Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works; Phyllis Rubenstein; Salaam Boutique; Capital Deli; The Knitting Studio; William Shouldice & Associates; World Publications; Diamond & Robinson, PC; Downs, Rachlin, Martin; North Country Federal Credit Union; McKee, Giulliani & Cleveland

Of course there is great live music around town every night this week and weekend. On Thursday July 3rd, stay late and enjoy some fun:
*Positive Pie: Money Jungle. Jungle-jazz/ska/swing 10 pm 21+ no cover
*Black Door: Polyester. Retro kinetic groove at 9:30 pm
*Langdon Street Café: 6pm The Amity Front and 10pm Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck.
*McGillicuddy's Langdon St. Dance Party featuring Blue Fox & the Rockin' Daddies 8-Midnight *Julio's World Beat Dance Party with Mango Jam 8-Midnight
Below are some interesting articles you may have missed since I know many of you don't see the paper daily. A summary of the articles is as follows:
The Montpelier Food Pantry welcomes Berlin residents. The pantry is located at the Trinity United Methodist Church while registration is at the Bethany Church.
Barre lunch sites are open to drop-in kids (no questions, no cost to kids) and there are other lunch sites throughout central Vermont as part of specific programs.
There is a wood-chopping operation in Montpelier that is helping people in central Vermont with wood needed to heat their homes.

Food Pantry - The Montpelier Food Pantry welcomes residents of Adamant, Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, Montpelier, Putnamville, Shady Rill and Worcester. Register Monday through Friday from 9am - noon at Bethany Church, 115 Main Street. Bring proof of residence, like a current bill with your address on it. For more information, call 223-2424.

The new pantry hours are:
Tuesday 9am - noon
Wednesday 10-11am and 4-6pm
Thursday and Friday 10-11am
Closed Monday

Montpelier Food Pantry expands with the needJune 25, 2008
By Mel Huff Times Argus Staff

MONTPELIER - At noon Tuesday volunteers Olive Franzi and Peg Monley held the ends of a wide, white ribbon across a basement corridor in Trinity United Methodist Church that leads to the Montpelier Food Pantry. Victoria King, the pantry director, wielded the scissors while guests laughed.The occasion was the inauguration of the pantry's new late afternoon hours: Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m.The additional hours are intended to make it easy for families to shop when they get off work – and reflect the stresses that rising costs and stagnant wages are having on Vermonters employed in low-paying jobs.The pantry has also benefited from an "extreme makeover." The space now has the look and feel of a cozy neighborhood market, complete with grocery carts donated by Onion River Co-op – a boon to the elderly who had difficulty carrying and filling baskets. From the corridor, shoppers enter a room filled with United States Department of Agriculture commodities. A refrigerator in a corner is filled with bags of leaf lettuce. "They can help themselves to as much as they want," Monley said. Families can take a week's supply of food once a month.Hanging on a hook in the adjoining room are laminated guidelines indicating how much meat, bread, canned goods and soups families of various sizes can choose. Thanks to donors – businesses, individuals and fraternal organizations – the pantry is able to offer eggs and cheese. Franzi, who has been volunteering at the pantry since it opened in 1984, orders 60 dozen eggs from a local farmer every week or two.Recipes fill an envelope on a shelf lined with staples. Pauli Brousseau, who has volunteered at the pantry since 1984, observed that clients are often at a loss as to how to use dried beans. Being able to add a little cheese to foods makes it a lot easier to prepare tasty meals, King said. Soon samples of food will be provided along with the recipes.Food Works donates extra produce to the pantry, and King wants to make sure that people know about the availability of vegetables. Anne Maule, the food and nutrition educator for Food Works, brought samples of a vegetable dish featuring spinach and sweet salad turnips to the ribbon-cutting. "If people can see how to cook and prepare vegetables, they are more likely to take them home," she declared."Manghi's the hero in this community," said Joseph Kiefer, Food Works' co-direc-tor. King noted that the Montpelier baker doesn't merely give the pantry burnt or surplus bread: "They said, 'Tell us if you're ever low on bread and we'll make some."The food pantry operates exclusively on donations – it gets no funding from the city or state. Visits have increased 22 percent over last year, King said. A couple of weeks ago, 18 families came though in one morning; 78 of the May food recipients were children. King is considering giving families a supplemental bag of "kid food" during the summer months when children don't eat breakfast and lunch at school.The community's response has kept pace with the growing need, King said. The pantry received 7,500 pounds of food this year from a postal drive, nearly double the 4,000 pounds it got last year. That has meant no empty shelves. Still, some things are always in short supply – cereal, jelly (for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), dried milk, canned soup, baked beans and any kind of meal in a can.Garden tomatoes "go like psssttt," King said."The backbone of this system is the local churches that support it," Kiefer said. However, some supporters like Monley have no church affiliation. One dedicated volunteer, Tim Noonan, is a state employee who comes nearly every day on his lunch hour to stock shelves and organize food in the storage room. King likes the fact that the pantry reflects the community.Adding the afternoon hours for working families was Monley's idea, King said."I want people to know that it's easy and that there really is help. I just want them to know that it's okay to come," Monley explained. "There are a lot of people have never been here before, who never thought they'd need to use a food pantry, and it's so nice to know that it's just your friends and neighbors helping.”

Barre school lunch program finds a summer nicheJuly 1, 2008
By Mel Huff Times Argus Staff

BARRE – A small girl in a pink bathing suit padded up to a long table in the bath house of the city swimming pool and asked the man holding a pair of tongs, "Could I have a hamburger or hot dog?"She took a paper plate with a grilled hamburger, walked past a tray of watermelon slices and large bowl of pasta salad and helped herself to a carton of milk buried in ice in a cooler at the end of a table.The barbecue at the pool Monday marked the kickoff of the city's free summer lunch program, a crucial weapon in the fight against childhood hunger.This year, Barre has six drop-in sites open to children 18 and under. The pool just began offering lunch and an afternoon snack as part of its program, joining Aldrich Library, Hedding United Methodist Church, Barre City Elementary School, Highgate Apartments, and Green Acres. There is no eligibility screening of children at any of the sites."We ask no questions," said Stephanie Quaranta, Barre's recreation director.Northfield Boys and Girls Club and Brown Public Library in Northfield also provide meals that are open to all children. The county's open sites will serve meals for at least eight weeks.Meals are being offered for the first time to children enrolled in shorter programs at three other sites: Barre Auditorium (the Frost Heaves camp), the Kellogg-Hubbard library in Montpelier, and Williamstown Elementary School's camp. Spaulding High School continues to provide meals for Rosie's Girls, and the Montpelier Recreation Department feeds it campers.All in all, 13 sites in central Vermont now offer summer meals for children."We decided to open the pool at noontime so parents could come on their lunch hour and drop their children off," said Quaranta. "It makes it easier for the parents and children."If it's raining, children can eat in the bath house or under the gazebo, she observed. If it's a very cold day or pouring rain and the pool is closed, children can eat at the elementary school."We're promoting it," Quaranta said of the meals program. "For parents, it's ideal."When both parents work, or if a family is headed by a single parent, it can be hard to make good lunches. "Now they can bring (their children) here and know that they'll get a healthy lunch and a good snack to hold them until mom or dad is home for dinner."Menus, which are available at the pool, include chicken nuggets, turkey hoagies, chef salads, lasagna and baked barbecue chicken, plus salads, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.

food management company Fitz, Vogt and Associates provides the meals for the programs, said Steve Marinelli, the man behind the tongs and the company's northern Vermont manager. This is the first year the company has provided summer meals for the area. "We revamped the whole program," he said. "In years past, it was strictly cold meals. We offer hot meals three days a week."Sarah Kunz, the summer nutrition outreach and policy specialist at the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, said her organization expects that up to 360 children will be fed daily through the Washington Country programs this summer – 150 more than last summer.Kunz believes that more Vermont families are struggling to put food on the table, based on the increased use of Food Stamps, which is nearing record levels, and the growing number of families turning to food shelves.The number of children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals – another measure of food insecurity – is sobering. In Barre City, 761 students use the school meals program. In Washington County as a whole, the number is more than 2,300. During summer vacation, that food is no longer available."National studies show that summer is really a high-risk time for kids," Kunz observed. "Especially, low-income kids are at risk of falling behind academically and tend to put on weight at two to three times the rate that they do during the academic year. What we know is that the summer food program is really protective."A 2006 study published in the Journal of Children and Poverty found that food insecurity rates go up during the summer months, and that the impact is greatest in households with children. The same study concluded that food insecurity was mitigated in states with high participation in the federal summer food program."In addition to providing a consistent source of nutrition," Kunz noted, "all of the summer meals programs in Washington County have some kind of fun enrichment or activities that go with the meal, so they're feeding kids' bellies and also feeding their minds and providing a place for kids to socialize."Squeals rising from the pool, Quaranta said that the meals program complements her exercise programs – swimming, volleyball and basketball – in building healthy children."The food's a hit. It's very rewarding," she said. "I got out on the playground and round them all up, and once they understand it's a free meal, they're like 'Wow!' They're so appreciative – their faces just light up!”
Combining food and funSummer programs step in to help combat hunger June 30, 2008
By Susan Allen Times Argus Editor
BARRE – More than 29,000 Vermont children rely on free or reduced meals at school during the academic year, sometimes the only food they receive in a day, prompting anti-hunger advocates to scramble to ensure kids don't go hungry when the school year ends."Food is the most flexible item in the budget," said Sarah Kunz, Summer Nutrition Outreach and Policy Specialist with the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger. She said costs such as transportation and housing are fixed, making food one area where families can cut back when times are tough."That flexible piece of the budget is getting stretched more and more. Families rely on low-cost, high-calorie, low-nutrition cheap foods," she said. Kids might be eating, but they are consuming low-cost, low-nutrition calories rather than a balanced diet."The face of hunger is not the extended bellies and wasted limbs that people often think about when they hear the words childhood hunger," she added. "It's a different face, something you might not recognize if you passed the child on the street."Today at noon, Kunz and Barre summertime lunch providers (folks from all eight city sites that provide summer food programs to children) will hold a free barbeque for kids under 18 at the Barre City Pool. Families are welcome, too, but only the kids eat free.Kunz said the event is designed to let people know that the pool is the newest site for a summer food program, and to get the word out that many places where kids gather in the summertime – such as the Aldrich Library – will also offer meals and snacks in some cases this summer."We hear stories from our partners across the state about what's happening" when school closes, Kunz said. One Brattleboro teacher said she asked students if they were excited school was finally over, and one responded, 'Summer is no lunch and nothing to do,' Kunz said.During the school year, breakfast and lunch is free to children of families of four earning less than $26,000 annually. Vermont lawmakers this year passed a law ensuring children in families earning between $26,000 and $37,000 pay only 40 cents per meal.Those children receive breakfasts and lunches that include milk, protein, fruits and vegetables, and a carbohydrate. But come summertime, that quality nutrition – and the programs that might otherwise provide food to hungry children, such as camp — often ends, Kunz said."So a lot of kids are home alone, home with older siblings, home in the care of relatives," Kunz said. "Summertime as a time for kids to be going to camp or involved in sports is not the reality for low-income families."The average cost of a day camp in New England is $193 a week per child, and $780 for a week at a residential camp, she said, citing statistics from the American Camping Association"For families having a hard time already buying fruits and vegetables, $75 a week (for camp) on scholarship is just not on the family budget," she added."When the doors to school close in the spring there is a lack of statewide programming for kids that is age appropriate, cheap or free — it just doesn't exist for a lot of kids," Kunz said. "Libraries, Parks and Recreation (departments) and churches are picking up the pieces."She said the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger works with communities "to ensure wherever there's a concentration of low-income kids, there's access to balanced nutrition. From Richford to Barre to Burlington … it can be done."She said Burlington has implemented a program in conjunction with the city's Intervale farm to allow children to help grow the foods they will eat during the summertime. The Children's Library at Aldrich in Barre pairs nutritional food with reading and craft activities. And kids at Highgate Housing in Barre enjoy meals along with gardening, free book giveaways and more."There are wonderful examples of all different summer programs," she said.Adding those activities to a meal program also reduces the stigma children feel about participating in low-income programs."Stigma is an issue. It's an issue with every nutrition assistance program," Kunz said. "But a lot of kids just view summer food as one more element of a fun day. It's going to the pool and oh, you get lunch, too."She said the number of children participating in summer food programs is expected to increase significantly this summer for two reasons. First, the economy is tight, with the rising price of gasoline and other expenses putting unusual pressure on family budgets. In addition, the number of programs offering summertime meals to low-income children has also increased, expanding access to good food.Some statistics Kunz cites include:* Vermont ranks 9th in the nation for participation in summer food programs;* This year there will be 13 summer food sites throughout Washington County, up from 9 last summer;* This year, meal sites are located in Barre, Montpelier, Berlin, Northfield and Williamstown.* And Barre is the only community in Washington County with drop-in summer food sites, allowing kids to stop by for a meal and activities without being enrolled in a particular camp or program.Starting today, add the Barre City Pool to the list of sites that combine food and fun.The ultimate goal of summertime meal programs, Kunz said, is to "nourish their bellies and nourish their minds.""In my job, there's nothing more satisfying than going to a food site in July on a hot day and see a child who has been running around and having a great time sit down and have a balanced meal," she said. "It's always really rewarding.”

Although the following article focuses mostly on Morrisville there is mention of a local man who I had heard about that tries to help people out with wood to heat with...

Group looks to chop fuel prices United Way, RSVP plan to cut wood for the needyJune 29, 2008 By Peter Hirschfeld Vermont Press Bureau
MORRISVILLE - At the United Way in Lamoille County, executive director Dawn Archbold won't have enough money to keep needy families from going cold this winter.But she's hoping stacked cord wood is as good as hard cash."Last year, we ran out of fuel assistance money in January," says Archbold. "I'm worried we could run out in November if things stay like this."Money may be scarce in Lamoille County, but trees aren't. And a new program seeks to harvest that resource to curb winter heating costs for low-income residents in the area."It's going to be a very difficult winter, and this is one way to maybe defray heating costs for people," Archbold says. "The more people can heat with wood, the less they have to rely on heating oil."The United Way is partnering with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in Morrisville to pull off the project. They have yet to split a single log. And Dan Noyes at RSVP says they're going to need a lot of help to make it work."As a community, we're going to have to figure out how to take care of our neighbors with heating oil prices like they are," he says. "If we can take some of the burden off programs that help people pay for heating oil by providing wood, then it's something we have to try to do."Noyes and Archbold have identified a possible wood suppliers: electric utilities and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, which log nearby forests to clear rights of way and trails."When they go in and do that work, we're asking them to ask landowners if they'd be willing to donate the trees to the project," Archbold says.The organizations will transport the donated wood to a processing site, where volunteers will spend a week in late July chopping, splitting and delivering the wood to needy families."This is going to be kind of our trial to see if this works," Archbold says. "If it does work, we'd like to make it a permanent project."The idea isn't unprecedented. James "Buzz" Surwilo has run a one-man wood-chopping operation out of his Montpelier property for three years now. He estimates he's chopped 50 cords worth of wood for low-income families in the area. With heating oil prices in the range of $4.50 a gallon, Surwilo says, the need is greater than ever."I'm not out promoting it because I'm sure I'd get swamped. It's just me and three volunteers, so there's a limit to what we can provide," Surwilo says. "But I think it's great to see better-organized organizations doing this on a bigger level, because there's certainly people who would use the help."On Thursday, an official in the Douglas administration announced a new program called "Wood Warmth" based largely on the same premise. The state would harvest wood from state and town forests, and transport it to concentration zones around the state. Eligible Vermonters could then chop their own firewood at a deep discount."This is something we need to get going sooner rather than later," Neale Lunderville, co-chair of a cabinet-level task force on heating issues, told a panel of lawmakers last week.Noyes recognizes that not every family can heat with wood, and that his small organization probably won't be able to chop enough of it to fill every wood stove for the winter. Still, he says the project could make a difference."This is just one small piece," Noyes says. "If we can fill some gaps with this, then that's awesome."

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