Good Causes


Good Causes

This is no soup kitchen, this is very good food for those who need it.

Loaves and Fishes





A friend, Bob Oeser, said to stop by with the camera any Tuesday or Friday, 9 to 1, so on an overcast Tuesday, I did.

There was more food available than I am showing, since I only photographed staff [with their permission] and the food service counter was busy.

The food was excellent; for example those asparagus were with lime and the carrots with orange juice — the chicken was perfect.

In the kitchen I met these two amiable rogues, and with one talked about the Dingle peninsula for 20 minutes.

There I was joking a little about ‘the rogues’ with the three volunteers, who I’m not sure felt it was okay to do so about adults, but they all laughed anyway.

I was asking who and how many people were served that day, and the answer was:

23 children at the near-by nursery school

30 people volunteering on maintenance at Melrose House

And 50 to 60 people who stopped by for a meal.

Here is the only oven, a 6-burner gas stove.

Below: Food and implements in the larder.

I asked about donations; what was preferred in terms of money, help or food.

“Meat-Proteins” was the instant and clear first choice.

There were 3 ladies serving up front and these 5 men were working the kitchen, and actually talking a lot, the atmosphere was very congenial, and at this stage they were mostly cleaning up, though Bob [far left] was cutting up more chicken.

I noticed that as people left they were encouraged to take some food with them, even a lot of food. This wasn’t pushy, but true solicitude.

Bob left for a while and had crossed the street where he donated some food to the church across the road which also has a food program.

Bottom, the dining room. If you go in check out the ceiling and an older idea of recessed lights. This is one of the most attractive rooms in Brattleboro.

Finally, I didn’t have room for any donuts, but I did look at them for a long time.

I’ll try to put up more information about loaves and fishes in the next few days, with Bob Oeser’s help.

Loaves & Fishes community kitchen is one of five network partners of the Vermont Foodbank in Brattleboro serving meals to those in need.

In the last several years the number of folks seeking a meal at our kitchen has doubled  --- 35 to 40 people

a day has now grown to around 70  --- the need simply continues to grow.!


Our sincere thanks to all who have donated in any way to the VT Foodbank or to Loaves and Fishes.Loaves & Fishes is located at Centre Congregational Church at 193 Main St and is open for Community Meals on Tuesdays and Fridays 11:30-12:30pm. Open to all! 

Robert Oeser added a few notes to mine, when I invited him to, here is what he said:—

As far as donations received today (Sep 6) at L&F:

We received donations of three cases of snacks left over from the Moore Free Library (Newfane) Welcome Center day and several pints of sun gold cherry tomatoes from the Wild Carrot Farm CSA <>

And on July 26:

Tracy at the Vermont Country Deli called Loaves & Fishes today and arranged for 25 frozen apple pies and a case of frozen apple slices to be donated to us. They were mis-ordered. 

On March 12:

As I was packing up after non-profit tabling at the Winter Farmers' Market, Madonna Racine, with Mountain Meadow Farm, at the table next to ours, started asking about where we get our food and then offered that she had hanger steaks available. When we connected, she brought some 90 lbs of hanger and skirt steaks, which served us well for many a meal. We put them in marinade on one day and cook them the next.


There is a gentleman who drops in the kitchen every now and then and offers us a few of whatever cooking greens have been growing in his garden.


One day a gentleman dropped by. He said he saw people come in and out of church, felt there was a need we were addressing, handed over a check and said we could use it to greater advantage than he.


On a twice per week basis, we receive produce donations from the Brattleboro Food Coop and bread from Amy's Bakery Arts. Also, once per week, we receive baked goods from Price Chopper. Volunteers go round and collect all these donations for Loaves & Fishes.

I went back again on the next Tuesday and met Trudi.

But in my bad German I called her Gertrude, and then...

But Trudi is really an angel, and any fault here was my own  :)

Here are a few more pictures of staff and food from Loaves and Fishes. I should have said it before, but sitting down with another diner, he declared ‘best food in town.’

I don’t typical like other people’s food even if ‘good restaurants,’  but I agreed with him.

And most of all, if this text and commentary doesn’t yet make it clear, this is a joyful place.


Industrial strength potato masher.

Winter is here, this is a great crew to join or contribute to.

See you there?

Making Change: Dealing with Addiction


Turning Point of Windham County and HCRS (Healthcare Rehabilitation Services) are collaborating on a Making Change support group for youth dealing with substance abuse issues. This model, created and implemented by Second Growth, engages young substance abusers and their friends in a user-friendly dialogue about choices and the first stages of change. The sixty-minute, open-ended weekly groups deliver information, motivation, and peer support addressing some of the most critical issues of early recovery for young people.


When: Wednesdays, 4:00 to 5:00


Where:    Turning Point, 112 Hardwood Way, Brattleboro
 (off Putney Road, behind Taco Bell and KFC)


Who: Youth in recovery from substance abuse


And we have snacks, too!


Results of running a Making Change group?  The Making Change group in our town is great for the kiddos...theyactually ALLLL came to school today and are excited for the group...their grades have improved and theirmanners....and they actually come to school now :) it's awesome”  SAP counselor at a Vermont High School.


Vermont Partnership Seeking New Board Members


The Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity has been working for 17 years to help strengthen fairness and diversity in Vermont communities by eliminating prejudice and discrimination of all kinds.


We are currently seeking to increase our Board of Directors with members from all over Vermont who are committed to our mission and support our current initiatives helping Vermont leaders achieve inclusion, diversity, and equity in their organizations (statewide and local nonprofits, social service organizations, school districts, businesses, and government agencies).


The Vermont Partnership’s work focuses on issues as varied as school-based harassment/ bullying, bias-free policing, healthcare equity, traffic stop data collection, marketing the Vermont brand to the multicultural marketplace, tourism, and transforming the social climate within public institutions.


The Board of Directors meets once a month and is committed to using technologies that will support the participation of board members throughout the state. If you are interested in becoming a Board member, please e-mail your letter of interest and resume to:. You may also send your letter and resume by snail mail to: Board of Directors, Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity, 18 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301.





Jimmy Karlan, Ed.D.

Board of Directors

Guilford, Vermont

As you may be aware, Turning Point is investigating ways to find our way back to the downtown area. We're forming a task force of folks who could work on this initiative while the board, volunteers, and director keep moving forward with our current work. To kick off this effort, we're having a brown bag lunch meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at noon, right here at the center (112 Hardwood Way). If you have ideas, or you'd like to offer support and enthusiasm, please stop by!

Turning Point was located downtown for the first five years of its existence, but we made the tough decision to relocate last summer when the cost of being downtown became prohibitive. We found our new home here at 112 Hardwood Way, and our new facility is wonderful in many ways. However, we feel we'd better serve our mission if we were more accessible, which has led us to discussing ways to locate downtown again. 

We hope to find a facility downtown to rent, or maybe to own, which would require folks with an expertise in capital campaigns or fund-raising. Perhaps there's a benefactor who has a building to lease to us? The more we talk about relocating, the more ideas we hear about how to make it happen. 

Our task force could use people with these skills: a) addiction and recovery, b) program implementation, delivery, and development, c) psychological and medical, d) business and non-profit management, e) partnerships and collaborations, f) communications and development g) organizational operations and h) legal, facility, and finance.

Thanks for your ideas, and if you know someone who might like to help, please invite them along!



Suzie Walker

Turning Point of Windham County 
PO Box 1303 
Brattleboro, VT 05302 
802-257-5600 (center)