People could use a break this holiday season, considering the experience of the last couple of years. But it looks as though the upcoming holidays will remain a challenge for many, and area food pantries are gearing up to help.
With Thanksgiving coming in less than two weeks, inflation remains a major concern, particularly for senior citizens, many of whom rely on fixed incomes that cannot be adjusted when costs increase.
“Due to inflation, we’ve found that seniors are struggling to buy groceries,” said Sarah Santora, director of community programs at Connecticut Foodshare, Santora was among those interviewed by the Record-Journal’s Crystal Elescano for a recent story on local efforts to help people during the holidays.
Connecticut Foodshare has the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to help those 65 and older in which seniors can receive a food box each month. There are also mobile food pantry visits. The listing is at https://ctfoodshare.org/get-help/connecticut-food-banks-mobile-pantry-schedule/.
New Opportunities of Greater Meriden runs a food pantry five days a week, for lower- and middle-income working families, the elderly and the disabled. A Thanksgiving food drive is set for Nov. 22.
Master’s Manna, in Wallingford, is offering food distribution on two days before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 21 and 22. The second day has been added because of high demand, Elescano reported.
“We really want to help families in need,” said Ian Brooks, a Master’s Manna board member. Brooks said 400 family meals will be handed out for Thanksgiving.
This remarkable effort needs support. New Opportunities accepts donations during it regular hours. Brooks said the “most desired” items at Master’s Manna are cranberry sauce, pumpkin cans and gravy bottles. Donations can be made to the 428 S. Cherry St. location. Master’s Manna is also taking donations for a clothing drive, to be held later this month or in December.
These organizations deserve great credit for their efforts, as do those who support them through donations. It’s a difficult time, with the need for help growing. These holiday efforts show the strength of community generosity.