This is the time of year when people really focus on giving. The weather becomes colder, kids are settled back into school and routines and the holidays are coming sooner than any of us would like to admit. While there is a need all year long for food pantries to receive donations, we always think more of it this time of year. (Although most don't think of it, summer is a time when food pantries need lots of help as kids are out of school and not receiving meals via school programs!). Especially as more folks are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed, food pantries and human services organizations are seeing a drastic increase in need.
To help alleviate the pressure these organizations are feeling, Governor Rell and firefighters from across Connecticut are holding a Day of Caring and Compassion on November 7th.
From 10 am to 2 pm, participating fire stations across the state will be collecting non-perishable food items to help restock the shelves at Foodshare, which serves the Hartford region and Connecticut Food Bank, which serves New Haven and Fairfield regions. They will only be collecting non-perishable food--no other items and no cash.
Pick up locations are available at:
BERLIN: Kensington Fire House, 880 Farmington Avenue
DANBURY: 19 New Street
ENFIELD: 200 Phoenix Avenue
FAIRFIELD: 140 Reef Road
MIDDLETOWN: 169 Cross Street
NORTH WINDHAM: 603 Boston Post Road
NORWICH: East Great Plain Volunteer Station, 488 New London Turnpike
OLD SAYBROOK: 310 Main Street
TORRINGTON: 111 Water Street
VERNON: 720 Hartford Turnpike
WATERBURY: 740 Highland Avenue
WEST HARTFORD: 20 Brace Road
WEST HAVEN: West Shore Fire District Headquarters, 860 Ocean Avenue
WESTPORT: 515 Post Road East
WILLIMANTIC: 13 Bank Street
Having worked in a homeless shelter, here are a few tips that will make those sorting and benefiting from your donations easier. While some may seem like "no-brainers", they come from past experience:
- Items like tuna, peanut butter, bisquick, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, breakfast cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, dry beans, canned fruits and veggies are at the top of the list. These provide nutrition and last a long time. Baby food and baby formula are also good choices.
- If you are pulling from your cabinet, please check expiration dates!
- Please make sure what you donate is unopened. There are health and sanitation standards that have to be adhered to. (I once received open and taped over boxes of pasta--no joke!)
With an increase in demand of 30%, our local food banks can use all the help they can get!