Mad River Valley Community Pantry volunteer shopper Krista Glow selects milk from the dairy case at Shaw’s while restocking the community pantry this week

Ever wonder how the shelves of the Mad River Valley Community Pantry get stocked? Responding to an email from community shelf volunteers about organizers needing people to shop for the pantry, this reporter met up with volunteer Krista Glow at the Waitsfield-based pantry this week for a tutorial.





The process is straightforward. There is a list on the wall of what volunteers purchase three times a week, timed for the pantry’s Tuesday/Wednesday/Saturday hours. Glow was making herself a shopping list based on what was in the fridges and the pantry. Normally she buys 8-12 half gallons of whole milk, but the dairy fridge already had a few half gallons of 2% milk and a few of chocolate milk. Normally, she’d purchase 12 dozen eggs, but there was a note for volunteers letting them know that two cases of eggs had been delivered.

On the list as we went to Shaw’s were blocks of cheese, milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, catsup, toilet paper and a few more items. Entering, we found that bananas were on sale for $0.69 a pound so our spontaneous purchase was several bunches of bananas.

Glow, who’s been volunteering for more than a year, is a fast shopper. She knew what she was looking for and where it was and was adept at scanning the prices per item, per unit and per ounce to get the biggest bang for the community pantry’s buck.

In the paper products aisle, she searched for the toilet paper she usually buys but it was not available – she bought Scott brand instead, as it was the best deal compared to the others.

At the check-out aisle, the clerk told us that there were some donations in the barrel, which I retrieved while she unloaded the cart. She paid with a Mad River Valley Community Pantry credit card and restocked what she purchased and locked up. It’s about an hour of time for those interested in volunteering. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about volunteering.