A food drive set for Saturday is already a special event. A number of local churches are participating, and the Islamic Center of Wallingford is also providing financial support. A year ago, churches came together for a “Unity in Faith” food drive for the Master’s Manna food pantry in Wallingford, and this year’s effort will be no less significant.
Participating is straightforward. Bring nonperishable food or money to any of the participating churches on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Doing so puts you on the front lines in the battle against food insecurity. Donations are taken to Master’s Manna in Wallingford on the same day. A year ago, about 4,600 pounds of food were collected, and organizers are hoping for the same this time around.
All sorts of influences keep this an important effort. A Brookings study, cited recently in the Record-Journal, put food insecurity at 10.5% of U.S. households in 2019. Rates doubled during the COVID months from February 2020 to May 2020. Federal assistance helped rates drop, but since the end of the pandemic there’s been an increase.
“Inflation is really hitting people, especially seniors who are on fixed incomes,” said Gail Powell, a Master’s Manna board member. “People who only rely on Social Security are having a really tough time.”
Participating churches are: First Congregational Church, Church of the Resurrection, Faith Bible Church, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Grace & St. John’s Episcopal, Most Holy Trinity Parish, Our Lady of Fatima Campus-Most Holy Trinity Parish, Wallingford SDA Spanish Church and Zion Lutheran Church.
Helping the churches help Master’s Manna helps your neighbors. “We already have many boxes of soup ready to go,” said Dolores Murdock, director of social ministry for the Church of the Resurrection. “At our church we always leave baskets for people to donate. During mass, people will come by and donate things. People even donate gift cards.”
Donations are important year-round, but this combined effort helps highlight the need for staying involved. It’s the kind of cooperation that shows the strength of a community.