As Thanksgiving approaches, the local community is coming together to support families in need. Various pantries and organizations are reaching out to the community seeking help in the form of food donations and volunteers for upcoming food distribution events.
Here is a list of upcoming local food drives and events:
Connecticut Foodshare launched its Thanksgiving for All campaign on Tuesday. The food bank aims to collect 50,000 turkeys that will be distributed to pantries and organizations across the state. Non-perishable items such as stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and canned vegetables are also needed.
“We are accepting donations all this week,” said Monica Obrebski, chief marketing and communications officer at Connecticut Foodshare. “Our goal is to complete all deliveries by the 21st so people have time to thaw and prepare their turkey in time for the holiday.”
The Wallingford Connecticut Foodshare is accepting donations at its headquarters at 2 Research Parkway. Donations will be accepted until November 21st. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We work with a number of local food pantry organizations, such as New Opportunities of Greater Meriden and the GLOW Food Pantry in Wallingford,” Obrebski said. “We give them the turkeys and then they organize events or ways to get the turkeys to the families.”
In addition to their Thanksgiving for All campaign, Connecticut Foodshare will still have their mobile pantry. The mobile pantry will visit Wallingford on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the senior center, 238 Washington St.
The GLOW Food Ministry is giving away about 120 turkeys to families in need Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 26 Parker Farms Road in Wallingford.
“These are our normal food pantry hours, but we will have a small number of turkeys available for families,” said Rajan Doring, GLOW’s pantry manager.
Turkeys will be given away by appointment only from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and then from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Doering.
To make an appointment, call (203) 208-8534.
New Holy Word Foundation Ministries is partnering with the Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation to give away turkeys on Saturday at 11 a.m., according to the news release.
The giveaway will take place at 9 Norwood St. in Meriden and will end once each family has a turkey or no more turkeys are available. Families are to receive one free raw turkey with trimmings.
For more information, call (475) 775-5515.
Southington Community Services is hosting a food drive that is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Kiltonic Unit 72 in Southington.
“We’re doing a food drive because our shelves are very low this time of year,” said Janet Mellon, director of community services. “We used to have so much food, I’ve never seen it so empty.”
The food drive was organized to fill the pantry for families in need of food.
The event will be held at the Southington Drive-In at 995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike from 11am to 2pm on Sunday. The organization is looking for non-perishable food items for the pantry.
Terry Pettit, community service representative for Kiltonic Unit 72, helps organize the meal along with co-chair Eileen D’Andrea.
“We’re looking for volunteers for the drive,” Petty said. “We really want the community to come and donate. We need to help families in need because grocery shopping is too expensive now.”
To volunteer, contact Petit at (860) 620-2525.
Master’s Manna, a food pantry in Wallingford, is set to give away 500 full turkey dinners to families in need during their annual two-day turkey toss event.
The event will be held on Monday from 10am to 6pm and Tuesday from 9am to 5pm at 428 S Cherry St.
Each dinner will include turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes, dessert and three vegetables: onions, carrots and sweet potatoes. Preferred donation hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Although enrollment is fully booked, Brooks encourages residents to donate items to the movement. The Pantry needs 300 items each of Blueberry Sauce, Gravy and Stuffing.
“We’ve been doing this for about 16 to 17 years,” said Ian Brooks, a board member. “We serve families that live in towns that touch Wallingford, even though the majority of our families live in Wallingford.”
In addition to donations, Master’s Manna is also looking for volunteers.
“People who want to come help don’t even need to call ahead,” Brooks said. “They can just show up to help.”
For more information, call (203) 678-3042.