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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 14:27

Volunteers Distribute Over 4,000 lbs. of Food for Thanksgiving

By | News

Wilton Food Pantry Breaks Records this Fall

WILTON – Thanksgiving is a chance to give thanks for a life that’s good. Of course, it’s also a great time to think about helping those who might not have enough to eat by donating food and volunteering your time. Local food banks help feed millions of Americans every year and at the Wilton Food Pantry, volunteers have been extremely busy this fall.  

“We have far outdone what we distributed last year,” said Debi Zellan, President of the Wilton Food Pantry. “The last three months have all been record-breakers for us. Each month our distribution has increased, so the need is clearly growing.”

In 2013, Wilton Food Pantry distributed groceries – not including holidays – equal to 22,752 meals. The pantry hit that number in October; close to 26,000 meals have been distributed so far this year, not including holidays.

Last Saturday, 80 families received complete ingredients for Thanksgiving meals based on family size. Additionally, Wilton Food Pantry continued with regular service and distributed food to 21…all in under three hours.

“A month or so we looked around and thought, ‘the shelves are bare, what are we going to do?’ And we put out the word and the community came together,” said Zellan. “We were able to put together magnificent Thanksgiving baskets and we’ve been able to meet the increased need each month and each week and each day.”

The Thanksgiving baskets included 1,360 pounds of turkey; 280 pounds of potatoes; 256 pounds of applesauce; 188 pounds of stuffing, 144 pounds of cranberries; 100 pounds of green beans; 100 pounds of yams; and 100 pounds of carrots, among many other food items as well.

But with every food pick-up and donations received, the pantry needs volunteers for intake, distribution, and inventory and stocking shifts. Although Wilton Food Pantry has a long list of volunteers, it always comes down to the same devoted neighbors, ranging in age from 15 to 70, who are always willing to lend a hand.

New Wilton resident, Roger Flynn, started volunteering with Wilton Food Pantry in July and helps out multiple times a week.

“I’m retired and I felt like I needed to do something. It’s the right thing to do – help people out,” said Flynn. “That’s the main reason…that’s the way my father raised me. If you have the time to do it, do it. I like doing something good for somebody else.”

Way before Wilton Food Pantry opened its doors, Wilton resident, Rose Nesbitt, got involved right when discussions on opening a food pantry were taking place in December of 2010.

“As a mother of six kids, I can’t imagine being a mother and not being able to feed your children,” said Nesbitt. “It makes you think…I’m thankful I was able to feed my children, but think about how many women can’t.”

The Wilton Food Pantry is in need of monetary and food donations; but most importantly, the pantry is also in need of volunteers. Visit the pantry's website at www.wiltonfoodpantry.org for more information on donating and volunteer sign-up. 

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