Food for Thought: Eating a Tradition at Town Meeting Day

By Steph Machado

Published 03/04 2014 07:30PM

Updated 03/04 2014 07:46PM

CHARLOTTE, Vt. - For some people it's nearly as important as voting.

"Everyone loves food on town meeting day," said Mandy Koskinen at the Charlotte polls.

"Mostly homemade food," said Bea Bergeron, a ballot clerk in Winooski.

There's just something about breaking bread with your neighbors that ingrained in Vermont tradition. In fact, the Secretary of State's Town Meeting Day handbook includes a cartoon of voters at their meeting that reads, "Town meeting may have taken a huge technological leap, but the marshmallow jello hasn't."

In Charlotte Tuesday, PTO parents baked for the meeting.

"No one is unhappy when they have a fresh muffin in their hand," said Mandy Koskinen. She's the Co-chair of the Charlotte PTO. They were collecting donations to send the 8th graders on a trip to New York or Boston. Koskinen says food can make it easier to digest (pun intended) budgets and ballot questions.

"There's a lot of heavy information, and it's always good to have a snack," she said.

In Richmond, volunteers with Beacon Light Grange cooked up a storm for voters.

"Vegetarian baked beans, regular baked beans, minestrone...pea soup, 4 different kinds of sandwiches," said Darcelene Lewis-Wedge, one of the volunteers.

"Food brings people together," said another, Betsy Emerson. "If you know there's going to be lunch you're more likely to come."

In Winooski, ballot clerk Bea Bergeron made sure to bring her pecan sticky buns...with one crucial ingredient.

"Vermont maple."

On on Town Meeting Day, full bellies mean clear minds--for making big decisions.

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