Every weekday morning from 6-8:30 and Sundays from 10 to 12, we have volunteers working hard in our kitchen. They chop veggies, flip pancakes, make sandwiches, and pack and distribute meals.
When asked why they volunteer at Feeding Chittenden, all three volunteers present one Tuesday morning gave roughly the same answer: wanting to give back to their community. Molly, a pre-med student, added that she also has a blast working with the team– they play music and crack jokes all while making nourishing free meals for their neighbors. Rich, a retired mechanical engineer, also really enjoys helping out in the kitchen; he says he’s looking forward to helping with the morning meal for many years to come. On this particular day in late March, he spent all morning chopping up huge blocks of cheddar donated by Shelburne farms to be used in breakfasts later in the week.
Molly has been helping out at Feeding Chittenden for a few years, and has come to know some people who attend the morning meal quite well. For her and Monica, a retired nurse and longtime volunteer, one of the best parts of working the morning meal pre-pandemic was seeing the community, and getting to know regular visitors. Molly says, “sometimes you’ll be like oh man, where’s this person today? She hasn’t come in for a little while, is she doing alright?”
Our volunteers are deeply devoted to the wellbeing of their community. Monica often brings in clothing from her other volunteer work to share with guests who may need some extra layers. She knows the winters in Vermont can be harsh, and while some people may drive from their homes to get a meal or groceries from Feeding Chittenden, for others, Feeding Chittenden’s dining room is essential because it provides not only food, but warmth as well. In light of Covid-19, morning meal volunteers unfortunately cannot allow guests into the building, but they still meet them at the door with a hot meal and whatever clothes and supplies they might need.
We’re so grateful for our amazing team of breakfast volunteers, who are willing to take time out of their mornings to come cook for their community. They’re truly an essential part of the Feeding Chittenden team.