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Island Insights: 6 Actions you can Take to Help your Champlain Island Neighbors

Newsletter graphic of frozen lake

At Coldwell Banker Islands Realty we feel very grateful to be a part of such a close knit community filled with individuals and organizations that go above and beyond for one another. As we know, the pandemic has brought a number of unforeseen challenges and many families in Grand Isle County have been impacted in some way.

We are proud to support organizations such as the Champlain Islands Empty Bowls and CIDER who are working to eradicate food insecurity in Grand Isle County. We urge you to join the fight and lend a helping hand to your fellow Island neighbors in whatever way possible. Listed below is a guide of local food organizations that currently are asking for donations or have volunteer opportunities.

Champlain Islands Empty Bowls Logo

1. Virtually Support Champlain Islands Empty Bowls 
While we surely missed the annual raffle, dinner, and handmade bowls, you can still help to decrease food insecurity in Grand Isle County. The Empty Bowls fundraising efforts have gone virtual this year however, the need is still great! During the month of February they were collecting funds for food organizations such as, CIDER, Food for Thought, and Grand Isle Food Shelf. That being said, there is no deadline to donate, just make your checks out to the Congregational Church of South Hero with "Empty Bowls'" on the notation line. You can send the check to Margaret Nowak, the Congregational Church of South Hero or drop the check or cash off at CIDER.

Image Source: Champlain Islands Empty Bowls

Little free pantry in Vermont
2. Drop off items at Food for Thought
The Congregational Church of South Hero's Food for Thought has a Little Free Pantry set up outside the church on South Street for people to take what they need and leave what they can but are asking that you omit items that are in glass containers and canned goods during the cold months. Get Directions

Image source: Kaight Althoff

3. Volunteer at CIDER  
CIDER is in need of drivers! They are looking for help to deliver their "Neighborhood Meals" specifically with a demand for drivers north of the drawbridge. They also are relying on direct mail fundraisers since their typical personal fundraising can’t take place this year. Donate Today

Image Source: Annie Gardiner

Seedlings in Hands

4. Join the Grow for a Neighbor Campaign
The South Hero Land Trust has launched the Grow for a Neighbor campaign! You can get involved by volunteering as a gardener or donating to buy seedlings. The produce yielded will be donated to a local food shelf and the seedlings are bought from local farms and will be used for the volunteer gardeners and to create potted plant packets for families at risk. Volunteer or Donate Today

Image source: South Hero Land Trust


northwest VT healthy roots collaborative logo

5. Volunteer at Healthy Roots Collaborative
If monetary donations aren't in the cards for you, consider volunteering at Healthy Roots. This collaborative works to strengthen the local food system in Northwest Vermont and serves Grand Isle County. They are seeking volunteers to harvest in the fields and deliver produce to the food shelves. Volunteer Today 

Image Source: Healthy Roots Collaborative 

6. Drop off goods at a Food Shelf in Grand Isle County
CIDER has compiled a great resource with a list of the local food shelves throughout the Champlain Islands. If you are in need of food or are dropping off items we recommend contacting the pantry ahead of time to coordinate and gain insight on any COVID-19 restriction they may have. Find a food shelf near you 

Image Source: Alex Rosenberger

Please consider getting involved by donating or volunteering to assist these food organizations that are providing relief to so many members of our community!

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