“The need is greater than ever” for help with food insecurity, said Mary Ann Goulette, financial administrator of the West Rutland Food shelf and town manager. So the “coordinated effort” of parishioners of the two Catholic churches in town is “definitely a big part of why (the food shelf) is such a success.”

Members of St. Bridget and St. Stanislaus Kostka churches have been supporting the food shelf since it opened in 2009, providing not only food but money.

Proceeds from activities such as a variety show help keep the shelves stocked to help people in need.

“It’s really important we have different organizations supporting the food shelf,” Goulette said.

Olivia Boughton of St. Bridget Church is one of the food shelf supporters. “It is important for our Catholic churches, and indeed for all Christians, to feed the hungry. By supporting our local food shelf, we are working to live out our Gospel values and Jesus’ instructions to care for those in need,” she said. “Access to food is a fundamental human right, and through support of the food shelf, we contribute in our own small way to creating God’s kingdom here and now.”

Both Catholic churches in West Rutland have donation baskets in which parishioners place their donations for the food shelf all year.

—Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.