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Category Archives: Food Pantry

Wolcott Food Pantry partners with community for support

Connecticut Food Bank recently sat down with Helen Donovan, Director at the Wolcott Food Pantry to learn more about how the pantry works with local community and responds to summer hunger. How many families does the Wolcott Food Pantry serve? The pantry currently has 152 families that are registered with us.  Each family is allowed to come to the pantry on a weekly basis. We currently serve between 50 to 60 families, or approximately 160 people on a weekly basis. What changes has the pantry experienced over the last year? We have seen a large increase in the number of new families applying for help. The increase is across-the- board among seniors, families or individuals. We have found that our clients were being forced to make hard decisions this past winter on whether to buy food or pay heating bills. How do you address the issue of summer hunger? We work with...
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Monroe Food Pantry: Meeting the growing need

Connecticut Food Bank recently sat down with Wendy Jolls, Food Pantry Coordinator at the Monroe Food Pantry to get an understanding of the need in Monroe, and how the pantry is meeting the ever-increasing need. How many families does the Monroe Food Pantry serve each month? We have 228 families who are qualified to shop at the pantry but on a typical month we serve about 120 to 150 families.  Have there been any changes in need over the last year? Our needs have changed because of the increase in volume in monthly clients. Last year we saw an average of 70 to 100 families a month. We’ve also made some changes by giving out more fresh produce which we purchase from a wholesaler to supplement the products/produce that we get from Connecticut Food Bank. What are your greatest challenges? Getting the community to understand the need in Monroe. We...
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Working people in need of food assistance

Record numbers of employed people are hungry The subject line in Connecticut Food Bank’s email inbox was just two words, Need Help. It was from a working mother asking if she could attend the mobile pantry distribution in Middletown that week. “I am out of food for the week but still have some gas left.  We don’t have any fresh food, dairy or grains.  We don’t qualify for any assistance, have jobs but can’t make ends meet anymore. Please let me know.” It was signed, Humbled in East Lyme. This email could have been from anywhere in Connecticut as the number of employed people who are having trouble making ends meet continues to escalate. This is not a surprise to Connecticut Food Bank, as results from the 2013 Map the Meal Gap research released by Feeding America in June show 57 percent of Connecticut residents who are food insecure do not...
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Also posted in Map the Meal Gap, Moble Pantry, Recession, SNAP/Food Stamps, Unemployment | Leave a comment

Covenant Soup Kitchen & Pantry Visit

The blog entry below is from Patty, who is helping Connecticut Food Bank with the client survey portion of a national Feeding America study called Hunger in America 2014.  The purpose of the study is to help us gain a better understanding about the types of programs, services and resources our programs provide.  Patty is  overseeing volunteers that are gathering important data on site at some of our member food-assistance programs. Covenant Soup Kitchen & Pantry - May 28, 2013 It was a long drive to Covenant Soup Kitchen & Pantry on a record breaking 90 degree day. My GPS kept telling me to switch from one highway to another, and finally, turn onto a small street that led into the town of Willimantic. At first, I thought that the church with the crowd of people in the parking lot with shopping bags was the survey location, but I did not spot the bright neon yellow volunteer...
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Also posted in Hunger Study, Moble Pantry, Programs, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our visit with Amazing Grace Food Pantry, Middletown

“Get back to work!”  Kathleen Kelly, director of Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown teases a volunteer during Amazing Grace’s food distribution, which occurs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  The pantry is affiliated with St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown and feeds about 970 households each month.  Shoppers choose food free of charge, and family size determines the quantity of food allocated on each visit.   Kelly said Amazing Grace Food Pantry never turns away people in need and explains they provide for clients through a team of motivated volunteers, donations from the community, and a partnership with Connecticut Food Bank.  Through Connecticut Food Bank’s “Perishable Items Program” at retailers, Amazing Graze Food Pantry receives about 500 pounds of frozen meat and other products each month from Middletown and East Hampton Stop & Shop Supermarkets. Amazing Grace truly is a community pantry.  In addition to clients, volunteers come to the...
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Spring Lake Gardens Farm partners with Putnam Food Pantry

Andy Meek and his wife Mel Collier-Meek, owners of Spring Lake Gardens in Sterling, Connecticut, are passionate about the land, local economy and their community. Their sustainable vegetable farm offers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares of fresh produce to families on a weekly basis and this growing season they’ve earmarked 10 CSA shares for donation to help those in need. Spring Lake Gardens also offered to deliver fresh vegetables to one of Connecticut Food Bank’s member programs along their delivery route in Eastern Connecticut. This season Spring Lake Gardens is delivering bags of fresh produce to Putnam’s Interfaith Human Services Daily Bread Pantry each week. The pantry, part of the community for 30 years, has an initiative to offer more fresh vegetables to its 215 clients. Those served include homeless individuals, single parents, families, senior citizens and those receiving assistance from state and federal programs. “Getting healthy food to our...
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There’s no summer vacation from a healthy mind and body!

Editor’s note: Today’s blog entry is submitted by Cheryl Kaiden, a Board member of Branford’s Community Dining Room. With the sun shining and temperatures warming, summer feels like it’s arrived. At the Community Dining Room (CDR) in Branford, CT, we’re more focused than ever on helping our clients to enjoy the outdoors in mind and body! This is the time of year, when many local farmers and neighbors share their bounty with us, dropping off vegetables and fruits that we can incorporate into our daily meals. CDR kitchen volunteers have made an increased commitment to focus on developing healthy, nutritious meals using whole grains and natural ingredients whenever possible. We’ve increased the number of vegetables and fruits we serve and decreased sugary desserts. To help clients make life-long changes, we regularly offer nutrition and health clinics for adults during our Noon Lunch Program, and hands-on education programs for children at...
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Connecticut Food Bank Helps Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger May 14

Connecticut Food Bank is joining the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) on Saturday, May 14, to Stamp Out Hunger. The Stamp Out Hunger food drive is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, representing 1,500 local branches of the postal union. Letter carriers across the country are collecting non-perishable food donations that day along their postal routes. Held annually on the second Saturday in May, the event helps replenish food banks and pantries in more than 10,000 communities. Last year the Stamp Out Hunger food drive collected a record 77.1 million pounds of food donations, pushing the 18-year total to more than one billion pounds of food. “Connecticut Food Bank is glad to assist the letter carriers in Bridgeport, East Haven, Hamden, Stratford and Waterbury in their efforts to help us alleviate hunger in Connecticut,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s president and CEO. “This food drive is important...
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Mobile Pantry Program, $100,000 Grant from Wal-Mart Employees Brings Fresh Produce and Other Food Items to Those in Need

Connecticut Food Bank has a new partner in its efforts to fight hunger in the state. Since September of this year, the state¹s largest food bank has operated a Mobile Pantry Program that brings nutritional items to food insecure families and households in six Connecticut counties. The Mobile Pantry Program gives Connecticut Food Bank the ability to distribute fresh food items including dairy products, fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grain goods and other perishable items directly to individuals in need. The healthy food choices are due in large part to a $100,000 grant from Wal-Mart employees submitted through the Wal-Mart Foundation¹s Associate Choice Program. “We are extremely grateful for this generous donation that will make a world of difference in the lives of people struggling with food insecurity in the communities we serve,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Food Bank. “Connecticut Food Bank is proud to be...
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Our Thanks

This past Thanksgiving Day, many of us sat around the dinner table surrounded by friends and families expressing our gratitude over heaping plates of food. Thousands of men, women and children who are struggling to survive in today’s economy were also able to share in the spirit of the holiday thanks to the generosity of their neighbors. Scores of individuals, families, civic groups, schools, religious organizations and companies came forward in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to help make Connecticut Food Bank’s “Thanksgiving for All” campaign a success. Together, we collected 24,516 turkeys and more than 360 tons of trimmings. With everyone’s help, we were able to provide nearly 779,503 meals for people in need of food assistance this holiday season. The kindness demonstrated throughout our Thanksgiving campaign was not only awe-inspiring, but also a testament to what we can do when we work together as a community. As...
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Also posted in Fund/food raising, Hunger Action, Nancy Carrington, Public Awareness, Recession, Thanksgiving, Volunteers | Leave a comment