On a picture-perfect winter morning last year, 20 Saint Michael’s College students and I visited Vermont Fish and Wildlife scientists for ice fishing at Knight’s Point on Lake Champlain. We drilled holes, baited hooks, learned about ice safety, identified fish — and even caught a few.

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At town meeting in 2018, the South Royalton Food Shelf made a modest request: They asked for $500 per month, totaling $6,000 annually, from the town budget to purchase fresh food and shelf-stable goods for local families in need. After some discussion, one resident rose to the microphone and…