On Saturday, December 10, Vermonters shopped till they dropped ‘ and raised over $5,000 to fight hunger.Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel held their 2nd annual Charity Sale in December, and the store and its customers collectively raised over $5,000 for Lenny’s chosen charity partner, the Vermont Foodbank. This morning, Lenny’s owner Mark McCarthy presented that donation to Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles.Lenny’s customers purchased tickets, for $5 each, to the one-day sale. With that ticket, customers qualified for substantial discounts on top gift items throughout the store. More than 550 tickets were sold, and 100% of the proceeds from those ticket sales went directly to the Foodbank. Each $5 ticket sold enabled the Foodbank to help provide 30 meals for Vermonters in need.In addition to the ticket proceeds, Lenny’s also donated a percentage of the day’s sales to benefit the Foodbank, making for a total donation of $5,148.‘We’re happy with the success of this event, and we’re so pleased to be able to make this kind of donation to the Vermont Foodbank,’ said Lenny’s owner Mark McCarthy. ‘We’d like to thank our loyal customers for their support – not only of a local business like Lenny’s – but also of the Vermont Foodbank. That’s the true spirit of the holiday season, and we’re so proud to have been a part of it. We’ll definitely be looking to do more of these sales in the future.’Barre, VTVermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of more than 280 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. In FY2010, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food to as many as 86,000 Vermonters
Two more employee groups have new pay agreements with the city of Vancouver.The Vancouver City Council on Monday night agreed to modest raises, but also cut the city’s projected cost of health care benefits by half, in contracts with its Joint Labor Coalition and its management and non-represented employees.The agreements, which are similar to deals the city’s struck with several other unions recently, are significant in helping bring the city’s costs in line with tax revenues, City Manager Eric Holmes said.“These are all fundamental shifts in the way we compensate our workforce, which is our single largest cost,” Holmes said last week. “It puts us on a more fiscally sustainable trajectory.”The city’s management and non-union workers will get a 1.5 percent base wage increase beginning next year, said Barbara Ayers, city spokeswoman. Those workers, who make up about one-quarter of the city’s 961-person labor force, have not seen a pay raise since 2009, Ayers said.The about 45 Joint Labor Coalition members will get a 1.5 percent raise next year and another in 2013, followed by a 2 percent wage increase in 2014. The contract does away entirely with cost-of-living raises. They also will receive a one-time payment of $1,300 before the end of the year. In 2013, they will be eligible for a one-time payment of 2 percent, based on performance.