EDITORIAL: Food pantries respond to time of COVID crisis

EDITORIAL: Food pantries respond to time of COVID crisis

This COVID-19 crisis is not over, not by a long shot. There are now more than 11 million confirmed cases in the U.S., with nearly a quarter of a million dead, and the surge in new cases this month dwarfs the surge that was seen in late summer. Hospitals in New Haven and Hartford have just banned routine visits, Masonicare in Wallingford recently had a spike in cases, and even Gov. Ned Lamont is in quarantine.

One side effect of the pandemic is that more families find themselves in need, after so many months of losing income, and even jobs. And with the holidays approaching, that need is increasing.

That’s where the food pantries in our area come in, even though the annual food drives they rely on are hard to conduct safely.

“Things are tough right now for a lot of folks, so we're seeing our numbers increase again,” said Sue Heald, food pantry manager for Master’s Manna in Wallingford.

Master’s Manna had to cancel many food drives in the spring and summer, making the remaining time for fundraising even more critical. Paul Shipman, spokesman for the Connecticut Food Bank, said food drives have been down across the state, as restrictions on gatherings make in-person events more difficult to hold. Other groups pitching in in Wallingford include the Police Department, a Boy Scout troop, Stop & Shop, and an anonymous donor.

People and organizations in other area towns are also taking action, including the Food Pantry at the North Haven Congregational Church, Cheshire Food Drive Inc. and Cheshire Community Food Pantry, the Southington Food Pantry and the Meriden Soup Kitchen.

Credit is due to all of these people and groups as the COVID crisis continues.

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