The Ledyard Food Pantry recently celebrated its first anniversary!  There is much to celebrate on this first anniversary.  We now have a room in the church to store donations that exceed the space in the Pantry building, a good problem to have!  Boxes loaded with a variety of vegetables, pasta, soup, etc., can now be seen stored up to the ceiling in what is now referred to as the “Stone Room” by our loyal volunteers (formerly the Christian Ed room).  And two volunteers recently made improvements to our existing shelving.  At the anniversary celebration, Mayor Finkelstein delivered this proclamation, “I would like to extend my personal congratulations and gratitude to all the many volunteers who have made the new and better Ledyard Food Pantry the pinnacle of success it has become.  We appreciate your dedicated efforts and send you our best wishes.”

In 2016 the Pantry passed its annual inspection with flying colors!  The Gemma Moran Food Center found the Pantry to be “clean, bright and well organized.”  Also note, the Ledyard Community Forum Facebook page contains Food Pantry information thanks to the administrator, Linda Davis.

The Boy Scout Troops 12 and 16 Scouting for Food drive in November 2016 brought in 2000 MORE items than 2015, almost 7000 total!  Two small boys with big hearts wanted to give food to the hungry rather than receive birthday presents!  They delivered armloads of groceries to the Pantry.  The Pantry’s hearty Inventory Team and others toiled for days inspecting, sorting and boxing the food for storage.  We have also received donations from the Parks and Rec Summer Playground food drive, including boxes of the ever-popular mac & cheese.  The Ledyard Congregational Church collects food donations once a month, and keeps the donation box out all the time.  Panera Bread has donated baked goods.  And the memory of an abundance of locally grown vegetables is fresh in our minds, thanks to the often back-breaking work of the HOPE gardeners. In 2016 the garden yielded 1,270lbs of nutritious vegetables for our appreciative guests.

November 2016 marked a new monthly record as 57 unique individuals/families visited the Pantry 85 times.  Many thanks to the dedicated volunteers whose on-time attendance and warm hospitality make all the difference to our guests!

If you are able to donate, please know that your help is greatly appreciated!  Items may be brought to the Pantry when open (Tuesday 9-11 am, Thursday 9-11 am & 5-7 pm, Saturday 9-11 am) or to the church Social Hall (downstairs in the old building) during Sunday morning worship hours (9:30-11 am).  For the Ledyard Food Pantry’s list of needed items, go to the Ledyard Food Pantry page on Facebook.

Did you know that our guests can only shop at the Pantry once every other week? That’s right. What other urgent need is parceled out according to the calendar instead of according to the need? Some will say that’s the way it’s always been; others will say we can do better.

The Pantry is a meeting place between heaven and earth-a place where our faith meets life.  We get to give away what we have received.  We get to believe in each other.  We get to forgive and be forgiven. And eventually we get to love one another, albeit imperfectly.  With God’s help we can end hunger in Ledyard!