Tag Archives: Norwich CT

The Day – A food distribution tour will be held at the NFA Wednesday | Instant News

Norwich – Mobile food distribution will be held from 3 pm Wednesday at the Norwich Free Academy, sponsored by the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.

The distribution of the packed lunchboxes will take place in the senior student car park on Reynolds Street behind the NFA. Drivers must enter the parking lot descending Reynolds Road from the Norwich Recreation Department area at the intersection of Mohegan Road and Mahan Drive.

The driver then turns right into the student car park, accepts the box in the open trunk or rear seat, and turns right out onto Reynolds Road. Traffic patterns are designed to prevent backups in the area.

The mobile food distribution is scheduled to run until 4 pm or supplies run out.


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The Day – Mobile food kitchen will be held Thursday in Norwich in memory of Jason Vincent | Instant News

Norwich – The drive-thru mobile food kitchen will be held from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm Thursday at Rose City Senior Center, 8 Mahan Drive, Norwich, in memory of Jason Vincent, president of Norwich Community Development Corp., who died December 30.

Gemma E. Moran United Way / Labor Food Center will host the drive, sponsored by Mayor Peter Nystrom and Linda Nystrom, Vincent’s friends and family members, who will volunteer in the food kitchen. The sponsors raised $ 2,250 for the food kitchen.

The goal is to provide food for 400 recipients. One food package will be provided for each vehicle, but drivers can pick up food for extra families, Nystrom said. No registration, residence or documents required.

“Jason’s generosity with his talent and time is something people remember,” said Mayor Nystrom. “Holding a mobile food kitchen in her name is a way for us to continue her legacy of helping others.”

Recipients are asked to stay in the car and open the trunk, where volunteers can place a lunch box. Everyone must wear a mask and practice all COVID-19 safety protocols. Lunchboxes contain protein, fruits, vegetables, and nonperishable foods.

“We express our sincere thanks to Mayor Nystrom, his family, and friends for their generosity in sponsoring this mobile kitchen,” said Dina Sears-Graves, vice president of community impact at the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. “Thanks to caring community members like them, we are able to provide more food to those who need it, especially now during these difficult times.”

The Food Center has provided more than 2.8 million pounds of food over the past year through the emergency food network program in New London County, the equivalent of more than 2.3 million meals. The program serves 17,444 people every month. The Food Center also conducts a lot of Mobile Pantry Pop-up distribution throughout the region.

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The Day – Norwich food distribution on Monday mornings | Instant News

Norwich – Food Bank / Foodshare Connecticut weekly free food distribution will take place from 9am to Monday noon at the former Foxwoods employee car park on 28 Stonington Road-Route 2 in Norwich.

Mayor Peter Nystrom said Sunday that Mashantucket road crews would clear snow from traffic on nearly 34 hectares of land to allow drive-thru distribution.

The food bank will distribute 21 US Department of Agriculture food box pallets that include milk, other dairy products, meat and produce.


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The Day – Long lines for Norwich’s first weekly food distribution event | Instant News

Norwich – Vehicles meandered along the 33-acre former Foxwoods employee car park and retreated onto Route 2 Monday morning to begin Connecticut Food Bank / Foodshare’s first weekly food distribution here.

Organizers and volunteers arrived at 7 a.m. to set up early plans for 9:30 a.m., but with vehicles already queued up, they opened distribution lines an hour early and stayed open until closing time. The queues died down around 11 a.m., but increased again at the last hour. Nobody counted, but the organizers had 40,000 pounds of food to hand out to about 1,500 families. Leftovers are packed back into Connecticut Food Bank trucks for their next distribution location.

While designated as a drive-thru distribution, Shawn Fleck, 49, walked 35 to 40 minutes from his home in Greeneville pulling a small wagon. The police directed him to the front lines so that he didn’t have to walk the perimeter of the parking lot in a vehicle.

“It really helped me,” Fleck, a disabled person, said of the food distribution. “You won’t even understand how much. I want to thank everyone for doing this.”

Next Monday, food distribution will run from 9 am until noon, said Mayor Peter Nystrom.

Police and traffic volunteers steered drivers along the edge of the giant parking lot and back to the front, where lines split along the side of the dining area in the center. Volunteers picked up bags of apples at one station, bottles of vitamin water at another station, half a gallon of milk, packets of frozen turkey, bags of potatoes, cans of ravioli and soup, bags of lentils and rice, and packets of fruit snacks at other stations. Food is placed directly in the trunk, rear seat and hold as the vehicle is directed to continue moving slowly forward.

The driver shouted, “thank you!” several times, and volunteers wave and return greetings as they pick up goods for their next vehicle.

“You have a pretty good crew here,” said volunteer Mike Kennedy of Groton.

Kennedy, who is retired, said he was read last week’s news that the Norwich food distribution needs volunteers and is being responded to.

“I didn’t do anything, and they need help,” he said.

Nystrom has called in about 40 volunteers to run the 2 1/2 hour distribution, and about 45 people signed up or turned up on Monday. Some direct traffic, while others load cars, and someone at the last stop closes the door or trunk of the car to send the recipient on their way. Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Monday morning distribution in Norwich should contact the city’s Human Services Department at (860) 823-3778 or the mayor’s office at (860) 823-3743.

Mayor Nystrom thanked Rodney Butler, chief of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, for allowing the distribution of food in many Foxwoods. Nystrom said the parking location may be difficult for some to access, but it is the best location in town for weekly distribution. Nystrom said a driver picked up food for four families who couldn’t make it to the site, and volunteers loaded the vehicle with extra parts.

“This is incredible,” said Jason Jakubowski, president and CEO of the Connecticut Food Bank / Foodshare who joined. “I am amazed by the number of volunteers.”

Jakubowski said it would take at least 30 volunteers to run events like Monday’s Norwich distribution. He thanked the Norwich police, city government and private non-profit organizations for helping organize and staff the event.

Food Bank and Foodshare are expanding their weekly food distribution New London on Friday, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sea Star Church St. Mary, 10 Huntington St., and Norwich this month and hold weekly distributions on Tuesdays at Rentschler Field in East Hartford and Thursdays at Norwalk.

Jakubowski said the organization is running a smaller supplemental food distribution program and has increased the supply distributed to kitchens and partner programs. They are also looking for other possible sites.

“We are responding to the economic impact of the coronavirus,” said Jakubowski. “So many people were injured.”

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Day – As food insecurity increases during a pandemic, various agencies work to reach people in need | Instant News

New London – At the walking food distribution point of St. Sea Star Church. Mary on Huntington Street, recipients on Friday collect pre-packaged canned and pasta bags, a 5-pound bag of potatoes, two bags of apples, one bag of three or four pounds of frozen turkey, along with two or three bottles of juice and half a gallon of milk. .

“I haven’t used a soup kitchen in 15 years,” says Kasey Belair of Waterford. I’m grateful for everything.

Belair, who has cut her hours at the Mohegan Sun Casino, said her husband was retired and that her mother was disabled. Most of the food he received was for his mother. Belair said he was surprised by the quality of the food that was distributed, especially frozen turkey.

The Connecticut Food Bank / Foodshare weekly food distribution has been running for the last three Fridays in New London, with nearly 300 people per week carrying boxes or tote bags or pulling carts to the walkway.

According to the Connecticut Food Bank, food insecurity in the state is estimated to have increased 28% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research by Feeding America estimates 545,000 people, including 164,000 children, in the state are struggling with food insecurity. In New London County, the number of people facing food shortages increased 36% during the pandemic, and the number of children jumped 49%.

Agencies are working to meet the growing need for food and other services, while also shifting to new distribution methods and COVID-19 safety protocols.

At Groton Human Services, office assistant Megan Freeman said the phone was ringing with people asking for food, household goods and pet food, and other services, such as rental assistance.

“Needs remain constant as many residents are still experiencing reduced working hours or have been laid off due to the effects of the pandemic and are having difficulty paying monthly bills including rent and utilities, in particular,” said Director Marge Fondulas. He said the need was at least double during the pandemic. Many of the department’s assisted clients didn’t use services before the pandemic, but now they need them.

While the Humanitarian Services building is closed to the public, social workers accept applications for assistance by phone, and email client documentation or place them in drop boxes outside the building, said Fondulas. Staff members stepped in to carry and sort food and collect food bags, as most of the volunteers did not come to the building due to safety protocols. The agency provides food from the Groton Food Locker to Groton residents in need, by agreement, he said.

“We remain impressed by the generosity of local residents who consistently provide food and monetary donations,” said Fondulas, explaining that the agency depends on grants and donations to maintain the assistance. Donors have used their stimulus payments to buy food for food lockers or to donate funds to food lockers or the department’s Donation Trust Fund, which is often used to help clients with rent. The department also receives grants from the United Way and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

Groton Human Services averages nearly 100 individual food distributions from food lockers to households per month now, compared to about 35 before the pandemic, said Finance Assistant Heidi McSwain.

Lisa Carney, a social worker at the department, said food lockers were available by appointment every two weeks – and many people came every two weeks – to pick up food. People have also received items such as toiletries and cleaning supplies donated by the Groton Elks Club, he said.

In addition, Stephen Pulaski, a licensed clinical social worker and youth counselor, continues to provide counseling via in-person appointments with safety protocols, or remote appointments. She has helped younger clients, who may feel frustrated with technology during distance learning, and teens, who may feel disconnected from her social group, to express their feelings and find ways to cope with them.

Norwich Human Services does not run a traditional food pantry but offers grocery store gift cards for residents in need. Director Lee-Ann Gomes said requests for help had skyrocketed, as food sources had dwindled during the pandemic.

Prior to this past March, the agency distributed about $ 100 a week in grocery gift cards and referred residents to St. Petersburg. Vincent de Paul Place for daily hot meals and the Lee Memorial United Methodist Church on Washington Street for a monthly meal. The two have turned to packaged food during the pandemic, which may be more difficult for some families, said Gomes.

Norwich Human Services has expanded its food gift card program through donations. Since March, it has received more than $ 5,000 – including $ 4,400 in handbag sales fundraisers led by Town Planning Directors Deanna Rhodes and Alderwoman Stacy Gould – in donations for grocery gift cards. Gomes said one anonymous donor gave $ 600, and another donated a recent $ 600 federal stimulus check.

He said all the money donated was used for food, as families cut their food budgets to pay rent, utilities, car bills and now internet connection fees. The agency uses the federal Community Development Block Grants to help people with rent and utilities.

Gomes said he learned about one distressed family through school officials who visited the home to check the children’s attendance and quickly learned that his mother had no food. Gomes went home with a grocery gift card and commuter bus ticket to allow him to go to the shop.

$ 4,400 from the handbag fundraiser was lost, Gomes said. He has instructed his staff to get $ 25, $ 50, and $ 100 grocery gift cards into the family’s hands as quickly as possible.

Dina Sears-Graves, vice president of community impact at Gemma E. Moran United Way / Labor Food Bank in New London, sees the need for increased food aid. Hundreds of people, many recently laid off or laid off from work at the start of the pandemic, storm a mobile food distribution event on March 25 in New London at the start of the pandemic.

Sears-Graves says typically, the Gemma Moran center – which supplies food to dozens of food kitchens and social service agencies across the region – relies on a lot of winter food drives to restock its shelves after the holidays. But this year, with many people working from homes and churches and community groups with limited activities, the urge for food has fallen sharply.

United Way now runs a virtual food drive on its website, www.uwsect.org, where donors can choose to donate a complete grocery bag or specific items.

Sears-Graves says the federal Farmers to Families lunchbox distribution program has helped fill the gap. Since October, United Way has coordinated the distribution of more than 23,000 boxes to New London County residents, each containing 5 pounds of meat, 5 pounds of produce and 5 pounds of dairy products. “The boxes have reduced our food service burden,” he said. “We are very lucky to have the boxes. This balances our supply. “

United Way is awaiting details of the upcoming fourth round of the distribution of Farmers to Families lunchboxes in early February and is partnering with housing authorities and housing complexes to help distribute food boxes to residents unable to reach distribution sites.

“It is very important to convey food to the public through various sources,” he added.

On Friday, Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., And a group of their colleagues, announced that they plan to reintroduce a bill in Congress requiring the federal government to pay 100% “of fees to states and localities so they can partner with restaurants and a non-profit organization to prepare nutritious food for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and underprivileged children. “

Theresa Hammer of Groton, which is in distribution Friday in New London, is in her second layoff from Foxwoods Resort Casino, where she worked for five years. “It’s out of their control,” he said of his employer. “They were very good to me.” She is aware of online food distribution and says it helps cover other expenses.

New London’s Nicholas Martino said he picked up “staples” at Friday’s distribution, including vegetables and fruit, to help stretch his limited income. He lost his job when the Hermosa Group power company in Groton closed down. She said she had scoured the internet for work without success. Navy veterans and volunteer graduate culinary schools are numerous in the city, helping veterans, the homeless and community dining programs. After the pandemic clears up, he hopes to host a cooking show for the local homeless.

Paul Shipman, a spokesman for the Connecticut Food Bank, said in the last six months of 2020, his agency distributed 15.8 million pounds of food in six Connecticut counties, including New London County, an increase of 2 million pounds over the previous six months.

Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare co-sponsor four weekly food distribution locations across the state, including a new distribution in New London from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm Friday at St. Sea Star Church. Mary, 10 Huntington St., and in Norwich from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Monday in a former Foxwoods employee car park on 28 Stonington Road-Route 2.

“The pandemic has caused unemployment and significant economic stress for families, and we know that demand will remain high over the coming months,” Shipman said. “The new weekly distribution we offer in New London and Norwich will help households in need.”

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