Eating Healthier Because of the Haven: Christine’s Story

Vegetable Stock

“Both of us have started to eat healthier because of the Haven.”

Christine and her husband had visited the Food Shelf sometimes in the past, but the opening of the Haven’s outdoor food tent turned out to be just what they needed at the right time. Christine’s husband has heart disease and a year ago his doctor found a corroded artery in his neck. The duo was already active, not overweight, on a low-fat diet, and cooking homemade meals, but a further change in diet was advised.

Christine began educating herself on how they could eat better. When the food tent opened in March, she was thrilled to find a wide variety of fresh vegetables. They have visited weekly on Wednesdays for the bulk of the pandemic since the tent groceries are available daily on weekdays as often as needed. She has been able to pick up plentiful vegetables as well as unique finds like sprouted organic snack bites and blue corn taco shells. In addition to making home-cooked meals and smoothies with the produce, Christine keeps her vegetable clippings in the freezer and regularly makes vegetable stock, getting the most out of their groceries and wasting less, which aligns with the new Vermont laws about food waste. With the array of foods in the tent, they usually don’t need to get a monthly Food Shelf, but they have been surprised by high-quality items when they do need it, such as organic grass-fed chicken.

Christine shares, “We wouldn’t have been able to afford to eat like this without the Haven. We can make healthy choices.” Those healthy choices have paid off: Christine’s husband’s triglycerides were at 598, but they’ve dropped to 350 in three months of shopping at the Haven.

In addition to noting the Haven’s food services as an “awesome resource,” she speaks highly of the Haven staff and volunteers. “The people are so kind. Nobody ever makes me feel like I shouldn’t be there.”

Christine often tells her friends and family about the opportunity. Some of them have thought that their income is too high and she reminds them that there is no income barrier. (She’s correct!) As she sees it (and again, we agree), sometimes people just need a little help and it can make a huge difference.

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