Second Mobile Food Shelf to Arrive February 26 at UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center

February 19, 2016  
Filed under Food, News

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps staff member Clarice Cutler, left, works with UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center Health Care Share team members, Andrea Hazuda and Mike Kennedy to bag apples for people in need during the Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo mobile food pantry. More than 150 people turned out for free, fresh groceries during the first monthly event at the hospital in Berlin. The next mobile food pantry is scheduled for February 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps staff member Clarice Cutler, left, works with UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center Health Care Share team members, Andrea Hazuda and Mike Kennedy to bag apples for people in need during the Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo mobile food pantry. More than 150 people turned out for free, fresh groceries during the first monthly event at the hospital in Berlin. The next mobile food pantry is scheduled for February 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.


Berlin, Vt. –The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo, a mobile food pantry, will deliver its second round of healthy groceries to the University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in partnership with Hunger Mountain Coop on Friday, February 26. All families and individuals in need are invited to pick up free, fresh produce and other groceries from 9 to 11 a.m. in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 on the lower level of the hospital in Berlin, Vt. More than 150 people turned out for the first event in January.


The Veggie VanGo will continue to distribute food at the hospital on several Fridays throughout the winter and spring including April 1, April 29, May 27 and June 24.


The mobile food shelf is an extension of the medical center’s Health Care Share (HCS) program, a food assistance collaboration with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) farm, created to bring healthy food and nutrition education to those in need. HCS fundraising efforts support summer “food shares,” which are distributed weekly to food insecure families and provide more than 10 pounds of freshly harvested vegetables for three months. Last year more than 150 families and nearly 600 people were helped by the program. The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo allows the Health Care Share program to expand during the non-growing season to fill the gap for families when the VYCC farm is closed.


The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high-quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Medical Center, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information and to connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and our blog, visit

Champlain Valley Agency on Aging Participates in March for Meals: A nationwide Meals On Wheels Initiative

February 19, 2016  
Filed under News

 cvaa horizontal color tag underneath

Support will help to fight senior isolation and hunger in Vermont


Essex Junction, VT (February 18, 2016) – Champlain Valley Agency of Aging (CVAA) announced today that it will be participating in the 14th annual March for Meals – a month-long, nationwide celebration of Meal on Wheels and the homebound and vulnerable seniors who rely on its vital safety net.


In Northwestern Vermont, CVAA oversees more than 60 Meals on Wheels routes.  With the help of over 350 volunteers and partners, meals are delivered to seniors every day of the week. Throughout the Month of March, CVAA will bring attention to Meals on Wheels to help the thousands of seniors in Vermont that are threatened by hunger and isolation.


“This past year Champlain Valley Agency on Aging served over 225,000 meals to local seniors and that need is rapidly increasing,” said Sara Wool, Director of Development & Communications at Champlain Valley Agency on Aging. “Every person deserves to age well and with the support of the community and area businesses, we believe that we can meet that need.”


CVAA’s 2016 March for Meals celebration begins with a Kickoff at Switchback Brewery on March 2, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The organization has also enlisted the help of prominent officials to help raise awareness throughout March by attending senior community meals and delivering meals. Participating officials include House Representative and Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Kesha Ram, Governor Peter Shumlin, Kevin Veller from Senator Leahy’s office, along with Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates, Matt Dunne, Sue Minter, and Bruce Lisman.


In addition to these efforts, area businesses and organizations have the opportunity to Sponsor-A-Route; whereas meals are provided to seniors for a selected period of time in exchange for exposure and promotion of their support. Several Sponsor-A-Route supporters have already pledged to contribute, including Birchwood Terrace, The Rotary Club of Middlebury, Booska Movers, Inc., Switchback Brewing Co., and Catering by Dale.


For more information on how you can help the seniors in Northwestern Vermont and Sponsor-A-Route, visit



About Champlain Valley Agency on Aging

Champlain Valley Agency on Aging (CVAA) is a nonprofit organization that serves four counties: Addison, Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle and is the largest Meals on Wheels provider in Vermont. They believe that every person deserves to age well. Since 1974, CVAA has delivered over 9 million meals, provided nutrition and case management services to over 50,000 people, and responded to over 250,000 calls through our senior helpline. To learn more, visit:



About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit


6-in-10 Senior Citizens Never Feel Lonely or Isolated

February 18, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Friends Socializing At HomeNearly 6-in-10 senior citizens (59%) report they “never” feel lonely or isolated, according to a new report from  Another 17% say they “rarely” feel lonely or isolated.  This debunks the common perception that seniors become less social and are often isolated from family and friends as they age.  In fact, only a small number of seniors (6%) report that they often have feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Interaction with family members appears to play a large role in warding off loneliness.  The majority of respondents connect with their family either every day (58%) or at least once a week (24%).

“Social interaction is a key component to staying both emotionally and physically healthy as we age,” said Andy Cohen, founder and CEO of  “Staying active in communities and connecting with family on a regular basis could actually be adding years to your life,” Mr. Cohen added.

Surprisingly, just being around more people doesn’t make seniors less lonely.  Seniors living in urban areas are about twice as likely to feel lonely often compared to those living in suburban and rural areas.

Loneliness and isolation also appear to decrease as income and education levels increase.  The study found that people making an annual income of $30,000 or less report higher instances of loneliness than more affluent seniors.  Likewise, respondents with a high school education or less report feeling lonely “often” or “sometimes” at a greater rate compared to people who attended or graduated from college.

Political affiliations also appear to have an influence on loneliness.  30% of Democrats say they are lonely “often” or “sometimes,” more frequently compared to Republicans (19%) and independents (17%).  Democrat respondents also didn’t own cats or dogs as much as Republicans or independents, which could have an impact on their higher frequency of loneliness.  It is often recommended that seniors own pets to ward off loneliness and isolation.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI):

PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with 628 adults age 65 or older living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline and cell phone in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, January 7-10 and 21-24, 2016. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


Vermont Tourism March Calendar of Events: Mardi Gras and Maple

February 17, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Things to do

: Dutton's Sugarhouse in Manchester gets ready for the sugaring season. Photo: Goodhue.

Dutton’s Sugarhouse in Manchester gets ready for the sugaring season. Photo: Goodhue.

February 15, 2016



MONTPELIER, Vt. – March in Vermont ushers in cultural events, outdoor celebrations of Vermont’s vibrant snow sports scene, and springtime’s many maple festivities. Here’s a sampler of the events on

Birds of a Feather

Through May 1, Shelburne

Explore the beauty of American wildfowl decoys, curated from the Shelburne Museum’s renowned folk art collection.


Vermont Farmers’ Market

Through May 7, Rutland

This winter farmers’ market hosts more than 50 vendors, selling everything from fresh salad greens to locally-grown apples and grass-fed meats.


Vermont 225th Birthday

March 4, Montpelier

The Vermont History Museum will hold a birthday for the state, complete with tastings from Vermont cider makers, hors d’oeuvres, and cake. Learn more about Vermont history through party games.


Mardi Gras Weekend

March 4-6, Burlington

The highlight of this three-day celebration is a magnificent parade through downtown Burlington with dozens of floats.


Frigid Infliction

March 5, Bolton

Experience a 10-hour winter adventure race for teams of two or three.


Light the Night Rail Jam

March 5, Okemo

Show off your best moves on Okemo’s new rail garden, built for this event. $5000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs.


Circus Spectacular

March 5-6, Brattleboro

A spectacular circus featuring professional performers and special guests from circuses around the world.


Vermont Chili Festival

March 12, Middlebury

The best and most delicious way to spend a winter day. Join thousands of hardy Vermonters as they taste their way through downtown Middlebury.


Maria Joao Pires and Julien Brocal, Piano

March 12, Middlebury

Pianist Maria Joao Pires shares her Vermont debut with student Julien Brocal. Each will play two Beethoven sonatas


Green Mountain Film Festival

March 19-27, Montpelier

This 19th annual film festival is the longest-running arts events in Montpelier. It showcases some of the best in narrative, documentary, and short film.


Middletown Springs Maple Festival

March 20, Middletown Springs

Learn about the rich history of Vermont’s cherished sugarmaking traditions.  Seminars and demonstrations.


Baby Animal Day at Billings Farm & Museum

March 26, Woodstock

Family-centered activities focused on the farm’s calves, lambs, and more. Also horse-drawn wagon rides and children’s craft activities.


Inaugural Artist-in-Residence Project

February 15, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Image Description: Michael Zebrowski Sunrise Sunset and Level , Installation image, 2016 A series of transits a tool used by surveyors custom fabricated and installed at Spruce Peak in Stowe, VT Materials: Wood, steel, safety yellow paint, rotary lasers, time lapse cameras.

Image Description:
Michael Zebrowski
Sunrise Sunset and Level , Installation image, 2016
A series of transits a
tool used by surveyors custom
fabricated and installed at Spruce Peak in Stowe, VT
Materials: Wood, steel, safety yellow paint, rotary lasers, time lapse cameras.

A solo site-specific installation on the grounds of Spruce Peak at Stowe


Presented by Spruce Peak at Stowe in Stowe, VT

Produced and Curated by Helen Day Art Center

7 February – 1 May 2016


Artist: Michael Zebrowski


On-Site Installation:

7 February – 22 February


See below for public events.


Michael Zebrowski has been selected as the artist for the solo site-specific and inaugural Artist-in-Residence Project on the grounds of Spruce Peak at Stowe in Stowe, VT. This project is the first of its kind presented by Spruce Peak at Stowe and produced and curated by Helen Day Art Center.


Spruce Peak at Stowe is visionary in its concept of art integrated into the landscape of the mountain and its desire to share this artistic experience with the ski resort community. They are partnering with Helen Day Art Center, the leading contemporary non-profit Art Center in the area, to realize this project.


Michael Zebrowski is anartist currently living in Morrisville, VT and Assistant Professor at Johnson State College. He was chosen from a regional pool of applicants responding to a Request for Proposals. Read more


February 12, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment


The Vermont National Guard and the Office of the Adjutant General are proud to present “Vermont’s Own” 40th Army Band in concert. The program will feature traditional patriotic American tunes, as well as contemporary musical favorites.

Come see the 40th Army Band perform:

Monday, March 14th at 7:00 PM at Essex High School, 2 Educational Dr, Essex Junction, VT

Tuesday, March 15th at 7:00 PM at Hartford High School, 37 Highland Ave, White River Junction, VT

Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30 PM at the Vermont State House, 115 State St, Montpelier, VT as part of the “Farmer’s Night” concert series

Thursday, March 17th at 7:00 PM at the Orwell Town Hall, 436 main St, Orwell, VT

Members of the 40th Army Band serve one weekend a month and two weeks of Annual Training each year in the Vermont Army National Guard. As civilians the rest of the year, they are engaged in such diverse occupations as education, law, security, technology, medicine, and sales.

ALL concerts are free and open to the public.

Further information about the 40th Army Band may be obtained by calling the unit’s office in Colchester, weekdays, at 338-3480, or by visiting the 40th Army Band on Facebook and Twitter.

Steps to stay independent when you live alone

February 8, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness

seniors laughingSafety, socializing, and helpful services enhance your ability to stay at home longer.

Living alone in our older years can be a challenge and a risk. There’s no one in the house to call paramedics if you get hurt, and there’s no one sitting at the dinner table for conversation or companionship. Isolation can lead to a decline in thinking skills and to an increased risk for depression.

While there are many tools to help you reduce the risks of living alone, implementing them may be easier said than done. “The misconception is that any acceptance of help is somehow the beginning of a slippery slope into dependence and losing control of your life,” says Barbara Moscowitz, a geriatric social worker at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “We need to reframe what will help us remain independent and accept the tools to help us. Make a choice to enhance your ability to live alone. See assets and positives, not signs of weakness.”

Safety first

One of the most important tools when living alone is a safety alert button, a waterproof device you wear as a pendant or on your wrist that alerts 911 at the touch of a button. “This device must stay on your body 24 hours a day,” says Moscowitz. “It won’t do any good on your nightstand if you’ve fallen in the shower.” Prices range from $25 to $50 per month, depending on the system. Look for a service that allows you to pay month-to-month and has no start-up fees.

Moscowitz also recommends having an emergency supply kit to help you through bad weather, electricity outages, or times when you just can’t get to a store. “Imagine that you’ll need three days’ worth of supplies, including food and water. Keep those supplies in a pantry, so you’ll have them if you need them,” she says. And to avoid running out of medications, always refill prescriptions when you have a week supply remaining.

Social connection

Being in contact with others is as vital and important as your health care. Moscowitz says it doesn’t have to be a formal date or event. It can be going to the mailroom, picking up mail, and chatting with a neighbor for five minutes. But, she stresses, “You must talk to someone at least daily, and get out of your house at least once a week. Any less could have a negative impact on your health and well-being.”

Start by arranging a daily phone call with a family member or friend, even if you’re the one who calls. “It stimulates your social juices, validates your existence, and also acts as a safety check,” says Moscowitz. For activity, reach out to friends and family, a church or synagogue, a senior center, or a volunteering opportunity. All of these offer social connections that will be meaningful and add richness to your life. But even the simple of act of doing errands and seeing others in person provides a benefit.


When you’re no longer able to drive or manage once-routine activities such as housecleaning or shopping, it’s time to turn to convenience services. Take advantage of grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants that deliver to your neighborhood. Ask a senior center, church, or even local bus service about free or affordable rides to take you to the store or the doctor. You can also hire errand services.

And when the activities of daily living—such as bathing, dressing, taking medication, and cooking—become too difficult, you can hire private-duty care. This usually comes in two forms: a companion or a health aide. Both are able to offer homemaker services, such as light housework, cooking, shopping, overseeing medication routines, and transportation. The difference is that a licensed worker, such as a home health aide, will also be trained in body mechanics and able to provide hands-on physical care such as help bathing, eating, brushing teeth, and using the bathroom.

These services can be expensive, but keep in mind that moving to assisted living can also be costly. Weigh the benefits of making the investment for services at your own home against moving to a senior living environment. “But don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need any help,” says Moscowitz. “That may land you in a facility faster than you expected, without giving you the control over where and when you want to make the move to the next chapter.”

Reprinted courtesy The Harvard Newsletter.

Music’s Effect on the Brain

February 5, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness

musicDo you have that one song that when you hear it played, triggers a memory or evokes a strong emotional feeling? Maybe it’s a song played at your wedding or a song you sang in a grade school concert.  Maybe it’s a song that was playing on the radio during a special moment in your life.

“We all have songs that move us, that bring up emotions and make us re-live past experiences,” says Francesca Creta-Merrill, Manager of the VNA’s Adult Day Program at Grand Way in South Burlington.

In fact, extensive neuroscience research shows that our brains are hard-wired to connect our memories with music and can have a calming effect on people. It’s especially beneficial to people with various stages of memory impairment. Music can calm chaotic brain activity and help a person focus more in their present state while awakening memories thought to be lost.

Dan Cohen is the founder of Music & Memory, a non-profit organization that recognizes this benefit of music. The program trains staff at nursing homes and other elder care facilities in how to create and manage digital playlists using iPods and other audio systems, how to maximize the benefits of music for clients, and how to measure set goals. Participants in this program can become more active, more social and more communicative.

A number of VNA staff from its Adult Day Program recently completed the training and became certified in this program. The staff fills donated, new and gently used iPods with music suggested by family members for the participant to use during the day. The music is personalized for each person and staff is already seeing results.

To learn more about the Music & Memory program and the effects music has on the brain, visit

Want to know how you can help with this program and other activities in the Adult Day Programs? Consider becoming a volunteer at one of the Adult Day Program locations.


Source:  Image courtesy of stockimages at

Faculty Scholarship Concert

February 4, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Sunday, Feb. 21, 3 p.m.- 4 p.m.
The University of Vermont Music Building Recital Hall
384 South Prospect St., Burlington

The UVM Department of Music and Dance presents the sixth annual Faculty Scholarship Concert.

This concert marks the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the Music Building Recital Hall and Fisk Organ.

A showcase of music and dance, classical and jazz, old and new for the benefit of student scholarships. Performers include UVM faculty Clare Byrne, David Feurzeig, Patricia Julien, D. Thomas Toner, Sylvia Parker, Anne Janson, Jeff Salisbury, William Tilley, Julie Peoples-Clark, Ray Vega, Paula Higa, Tom Cleary, Amber deLaurentis, David Neiweem, with special guest Marsh Professor-at-Large Srinivas Krishnan.

Admission is by donation (any amount). All proceeds benefit the music lesson scholarship fund, subsidizing the cost of private instruction for outstanding music students.

Vermont 50-Plus and Baby Boomers EXPO Door Prize Winners Announced!

February 3, 2016  
Filed under News

Here are the winners of the door prizes at the 50-Plus EXPO held at the Sheraton in Burlington on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Congratulations to all winners!!

EXPO 2016 prize list


Addition to winners –

  • Gift basket with $200 gift certificate to Cruise Planners from Edward Jones – Heidi Brousseau

Polly McEwing (Essex Junction, VT)





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