SWANTON — The Swanton Chamber of Commerce presented its Citizen of the Year award to Marge Taylor during dinner at Jeff’s Maine Seafood in St. Albans Friday evening. Nearly 30 chamber, community and family members gathered to celebrate Taylor.

The criteria the chamber considers in selecting “Citizen of the Year” is simple, chamber president Suzanne Washburn said. It just boils down to people who “contribute time and effort” to the betterment of others.

She listed the ways in which Taylor has done so. Taylor spent 20 years as a cafeteria cook at Missisquoi Valley Union Middle and High School, where “on more than one occasion she would pay for kids’ lunch,” Washburn said. Taylor was also “one of the first ladies” to serve as a Swanton school bus driver.

Taylor worked with the Swanton Community Food Shelf for several years, and became its manager in 2013. Washburn highlighted the fact that although Taylor recently retired from that position, Taylor has agreed to come out of retirement and resume managing the food shelf until a replacement is found.

Washburn read a letter of nomination from Reverend Luke Austin, who works with Taylor at the food shelf. He noted Taylor’s knack for finding bargains on bread, meat and pastries and her ability to stretch whatever funding the food shelf has available.

“She has put countless miles on her car shopping for food and other items for the [food shelf],” Austin wrote. “She refuses any sort of mileage reimbursement or an occasional gas card. For instance, the Food Shelf Board gave her a gas card, and she cashed it in and bought more food for the food shelf with the money.”

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