CHESHIRE — Cox Communications has reached out to help the town’s food pantry.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, the James M. Cox foundation has donated $50,000 to the Cheshire Food Pantry.
The pandemic has exacerbated hardships for many residents, and the stress of fighting the deadly COVID-19 virus and surviving the economic downturn it caused has forced many families to turn to the Food Pantry for groceries and other essentials.
“We have seen an increase in need day after day from local families,” explained Food Pantry Executive Director Kerry Walsh. “When we learned Cox had donated the first amount of $25,000, we were so grateful. When I saw the second check a few weeks later, honestly, my jaw dropped.”
The James M. Cox Foundation had originally set out to donate $25,000 to community feeding organizations all over Connecticut, including the Cheshire Food Pantry, Enfield Loaves, and the Wethersfield Food and Clothing Bank.
“We decided to give the second round of funding, which we understood was a bit unusual for us, because of the need we knew was in the communities we were in,” said Jeff Lavery, Cox Foundation public relations manager. “Peter (Talbot) informed us of the need that the local food bank was in, so we knew it would be going to the right place.”
Talbot, who also serves on the Cheshire Town Council, works full time for Cox Communications as government affairs manager.
“The Cheshire Food Pantry always has such a tremendous need, but the cash donation really is helpful and allows them to target the funds for whatever they might need,” Talbot said.
Walsh and the rest of the Food Pantry team can now use the funds to provide even more items to local families in need.
“We can now include cheese as a part of our dairy options, which we couldn’t before,” she said. “That makes a difference for families with kids who need snacks for school, or with growing teenage boys who we know consume a lot of food.”
State Rep. LIz Linehan’s office announced the second wave of funds from the Cox Foundation.
“The Cheshire Community Food Pantry is a pillar of our close-knit community, and we are deeply grateful to receive this support from the James M. Cox Foundation, which has already done much to ensure our residents continue to receive the nutritional support they seek,” said Linehan, a Democrat who represents the 103rd district.
“This donation comes at such an important time, the governor is looking to decrease money for the diaper bank and other important funds that many of my constituents utilize regularly,” she continued.