United Way held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest Mobile Food Pantry distribution site at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church in New London on September 23. Click here to view a photo gallery of the event on Facebook.
The Mobile Food Pantry is a critical extension of the work of the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center to reduce hunger by bringing food directly into neighborhoods and communities considered “food deserts” where access to food is limited. The Mobile Pantry now has ten monthly distributions throughout New London County and provides about a week’s worth of food to guests, including fresh produce, dairy products, proteins, and healthy snacks. The Mobile Pantry serves an average of 1,000 households struggling with hunger each month.
The event coincides with Hunger Action Month, an effort of Feeding America to raise awareness of the 1 in 6 Americans facing hunger. People are encouraged to spread the word about hunger in America through a social media campaign featuring photos of themselves with orange spoons and #Spoontember and #HungerActionMonth. Citizens Bank is the statewide sponsor of Hunger Action Month activities.
The new site represents a merging of the two previous New London distribution sites for the Mobile Food Pantry at Walls Temple AME Zion Church and Thames River Apartments. The new site provides increased parking for guests and improved accommodations for inclement weather and dark conditions during the winter months. The new site provides an option for indoors distributions, if necessary, in bad weather.
To accommodate the clients that would normally visit the previous two distribution sites in New London, this new site will remain open for two hours at each distribution that will take place the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 4-6 p.m. A normal distribution followed the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Speakers at program were: Robert Patten of Morgan Stanley, United Way Board Chair; John Pitarra, VP, Retail Regional Manager, from Citizens Bank; and Gemma E. Moran, founder of the Food Center, who provided the invocation.