Vermont Foodbank Receives Annual TD Charitable Foundation Food Bank Grant

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, announced that it has provided $800,000 in grants to 36 food banks across the bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint to help provide meals locally to families and individuals in need. The grants focus on food stability, healthy growth and development, and access to fresh food for underserved communities.

In Vermont, these funds will support the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, the Vermont Foodbank. The Vermont Foodbank provides nutritious food and promotes health through a network of 215 food shelves and meal sites, and directly to families and individuals at schools and hospitals.

“Every day, Vermonters struggling to access enough food for themselves and their families turn to the Vermont Foodbank and our network,” says John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “And with the generous support of partners like TD Bank, we can ensure they have the healthy food they need to thrive in our communities and tackle life’s challenges.”

“TD is honored to work with food banks that are embedded in our communities providing food and support to people in need,” said Phil Daniels, TD Bank Market President for Vermont & Upstate NY. “We are extremely proud to continue our support of organizations that help to empower our communities and act as an advocate to eradicate food insecurities that many face.”

Vermont Humanities Council Announces Retirement of Executive Director Peter Gilbert

The Vermont Humanities Council (VHC) announced that Peter A. Gilbert, its executive director for nearly 16 years, will retire in 2018 after the completion of a national search for his successor.

Based in Montpelier, VHC is a private nonprofit that works to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to Vermonters of all backgrounds. According to board chair Rolf Diamant, Gilbert offered a rare combination of skills that reflected his experience as a teacher, higher education administrator, writer, and editor.

Under Gilbert’s leadership, VHC became well-known as a distinctive cultural and educational asset in Vermont. Gilbert started the Council’s two most popular programs: First Wednesdays, a series of monthly lectures at nine hub communities around the state from October through May; and Vermont Reads, a statewide community reading program where adults and students read the same book and take part in a wide range of related activities.

Other VHC programs that Gilbert founded include book discussions for healthcare providers and military veterans, community participatory readings of Frederick Douglass’s famous Fourth of July address, an informal conversation series called “Ideas on Tap,” and Voices, an adult literacy training program.

“If we’ve helped Vermonters be a little more engaged with reading and lifelong learning, and a little more curious, thoughtful, open-minded, and civil,” said Gilbert, “then we’ve achieved no small feat.”

“Over the last 16 years of Peter’s extraordinary leadership, and in collaboration of hundreds of partner organizations,” said Diamant, “VHC has enriched the lives of thousands of Vermonters.

”Prior to coming to VHC, Gilbert taught English and a senior elective on constitutional law at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He was senior assistant to the president of Dartmouth College and associate provost, and a litigator at the Boston firm of Hale and Door. Gilbert’s clear and articulate voice is well-known throughout Vermont and beyond as a frequent commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His insightful commentaries have touched on topics ranging from civic courage to Shakespeare in America, from Joe Hill to LBJ, and from the last passenger pigeon to the Birmingham bombing.

”I have one of the best jobs anywhere,” Gilbert said recently. “It has been my privilege to help bring the world of ideas to Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve had the pleasure of working with great colleagues and partners around the state. And I’ve enjoyed engaging almost daily with literature and history.”

For more information about the Vermont Humanities Council, visit vermonthumanties.org.

Notice from the City of Montpelier, Parks Commission

The Montpelier Parks Commission will be opening the floor for a community discussion on proposed changes to the trails in North Branch Park at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday February 20 from 6 to 7 pm at the Montpelier Senior Center.

At the December Parks Commission meeting, members of the Montpelier Mountain Biking Community presented a proposal to add new multi-use trails in North Branch Park as well as modifying some existing trails to become multi-use. A map of the proposal is available for viewing on the Parks Department website. If approved by the Commission, and funds are raised, this project would take place over two phases, primarily on the upper slope of the park.

Parks Commissioners are eager to have a robust discussion with the Montpelier community on how best to create new recreation opportunities within the existing parks footprint while continuing to protect natural habitats and accommodate existing parks uses.

Please join us at the meeting on Tuesday February 20 from 6 to 7 pm at the Montpelier Senior Center for our discussion.


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