Distribution launched on Monday, March 3 bringing total number of monthly distribution sites to nine
United Way has added a new distribution site for its mobile food pantry program to serve those in need in and around Stonington. The mobile pantry is a critical extension of the work of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and focuses on bringing fresh produce, proteins, and healthy snacks directly to those most at-risk for food insecurity in New London County. Volunteers braved the bitterly cold weather to serve 90 households that afternoon, consisting of 118 adults, 58 children, and 32 seniors. Volunteers were from the Stonington High School PTO and the Town of Stonington. First Selectman Ed Haberek was also present to lend a hand.
The distribution is set up similar a farmer’s market and individuals receive about a week’s worth of food. Because the truck is refrigerated, fresh fruits and vegetables and other perishables can be transported from the Food Center to the distribution site.
More than 31,000 people in New London County are considered food insecure. Additionally, the USDA recently released a report stating that nearly sixteen million children, or more than one in every five, are at risk for hunger in the U.S. The Food Center currently provides food to nearly 100 local feeding sites which in turn help to feed more than 21,000 people every month. The mobile pantry, which launched in May 2013, has been serving more than 350 households every month at eight distribution sites in Groton, Jewett City, New London, Taftville, Baltic, and Norwich.
Distribution sites are determined based on both where the most people in need can be reached and areas of New London County that are considered "food deserts," where there is no large, retail grocery store or supermarket and/or where transportation options are limited. Residents may, therefore, be forced to walk long distances to buy food or to purchase it at a higher price at small convenience stores.
United Way’s mobile food pantry distribution in Stonington was made possible through a partnership with the Town of Stonington and Stonington Schools. The distribution takes place on the first Monday of every month from 5-6:00 p.m. at Stonington Human Services on 166 South Broad Street in Pawcatuck. Click here to view a complete list of distribution sites and dates.