As we talk about budgets, funding, taxes and etc, a vivid illustration of the continuing difficult economy takes place each month now in Stonington. Yesterday was the second time our new Mobile Food Pantry was utilized.
As we have been discussing for several months publically, United Way has collaborated with the Town of Stonington & Stonington Schools to provide the Mobile Food Pantry location behind Human Services in Pawcatuck the first Monday of each month from 5-6pm. The Mobile Pantry is a critical extension of the work of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center. The pantry is set up similar to a farmers’ market and has a “no questions asked” policy. Thanks to the partnership with Connecticut Food Bank and a generous gift from CL&P, United Way has been the recipients of a custom refrigerated truck to serve as a mobile food pantry and because the truck is refrigerated, it can keep healthy and perishable items safe and fresh until distribution.
Yesterday, (second Monday served at our location) there were a line throughout the parking lot as it began and 104 households were served during that hour with a household averaging 3-4 persons in it. That’s almost 416 individuals provided healthy food to assist in alleviating hunger. Over 90% of those individuals were from Stonington also. The appreciation was amazing and the stories of struggle are heartbreaking.
I want to also thank the volunteers who have joined in serving at the site including employees of Town Hall, Stonington Public Schools, and Human Services. In addition, the great work of United Way employees Jennifer Blanco and Alice Sochia for including our town in this needed service.
“Poverty is a veil that obscures the face of greatness. An appeal is a mask covering the face of tribulation”- Kahlil Gilbran