Those familiar with the Meriden Lions Club, which the City Council gave the Citizen of the Year award to last year, will not be surprised to learn of its recent efforts.
The club that through its painting effort made the city’s iconic Red Bridge beam red again recently moved its sights to local food pantries, where the need has been growing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Record-Journal recently reported, traffic at food pantries is up from 60 to 80 percent over the past few weeks, a crushing need that needs responding to.
It’s hurt the club as well, of course.
It “affected our ability to serve the community in our traditional Lion way, but it has not broken the spirit of Lions in our community,” said Lions Club President Ken Morgan on the organization’s website.
The club gave $5,000 each to five food pantries, so those panties could in turn help Meriden residents who have lost jobs and are in need of food support. Those clubs are New Opportunities for Meriden, Grace Place, Ted’s Kitchen at St. Andrews Church, the Salvation Army and Iglesia Cristiana Palabra De Vida.
The club donated $15,000. Former club President Joe Berg donated $10,000.
This is a non-traditional way to be going about things for the club, but the coronavirus pandemic has pushed thoughtfulness to a new level for many organizations.
The Lions Club effort is most appreciated, a “huge shot in the arm,” said Scott Griffith, founder of Grace Place, which is run by New Life Church.
“I really appreciate the Lions Club for the thoughtfulness to the community,” he said. “They got together and thought of the food pantries, and the timing could not be better.”
That’s about as well as it can be summed up.