It is with a heavy heart that Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) is canceling its Holiday Dinner and Gifts event this year. This was not an easy decision for CVCOA. The Holiday Dinner has grown to more than 300 older Central Vermonters who received meals last year.
It has become challenging to find a suitable venue for preparing and delivering so many fresh hot dinners, gifts, and groceries on Christmas Day. Our staff is managing a high caseload while we are experiencing temporary staff vacancies. More pressing is the growing population of older Vermonters we serve and our commitment to maintaining the highest quality of services.
We have so many people to thank for giving their time, food, and gifts for this event each year, but first and foremost we thank CVCOA’s longtime information and assistance specialist, Chris Shaw. Chris started this holiday giving event many years ago, and it has been a labor of love for her all these many years. We are so grateful for Chris Shaw’s contribution. Over the years, volunteers and staff have given of their time including on Christmas Day. We are so grateful to the many volunteers who return year after year to deliver the meals and gifts.
We also thank the many local businesses, including Hunger Mountain Co-op, Hannaford Supermarkets, Price Chopper, Vermont Foodbank, and media organizations, including The Times Argus and The World for helping us to promote this event. We also thank our donors for their financial support, and Barre Housing Authority, City Hotel Cafe, Barre Congregational Church, and Barre Area Senior Center for providing space over the past several years. We also thank our housing partners SASH (Support and Services at Home) for logistical support in Barre and Montpelier.
For those needing holiday meals, there are several organizations providing meals on or near the holidays. First, your local Meals on Wheels site may deliver meals in advance of the holiday. There are churches providing congregate community meals including Hedding United Methodist Church in Barre and Bethany Church UCC in Montpelier.
For a list of CVCOA’s housing partners you may visit SASH. Central Vermont Council on Aging has been exploring the potential for a community of partners to deliver holiday meals to older Central Vermonters. If you or your organization would like to explore such a partnership, please contact CVCOA’s Executive Director, Beth Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support for older Central Vermonters.