Today, there are, literally, hundreds of Montville residents who are worried about how they will feed their families. And the cupboards at the town’s Social Services department are nearly bare.
“We are in need,” said Kathleen Doherty-Peck, director of the town’s Senior and Social Services departments.
“People don’t realize that just one canned good can really help,” she said.
Doherty-Peck said that while traditionally her clients are working-poor families, that demographic has grown to include previously middle-class people that are now either unemployed or under-employed. More than 125 people come in for food each week – people, not families; “We (provide) 1,500 meals a month,” she said.
“The past couple of years have been really, really tough and we’re seeing a lot of families that just aren’t making it,” she said.
And they rely entirely on donations.
Town Councilor Billy Caron, liaison to Social Services, told the council Monday, “It’s been a very tough month.”
“They really need canned goods. We need to get the message out.”
While non-perishables like canned goods, especially proteins like peanut butter and tuna, are most needed, the food pantry does have some refrigerator and freezer space for perishable items including meats and fresh vegetables. And, Doherty-Peck said boxed goods like cereals and macaroni and cheese would be welcome.
“Whatever people can afford to give,” she said.
Donations can be dropped off at the Social Services Food Pantry at 310 Norwich-New London Turnpike, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the Senior Center located at 12 Maple Ave. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Doherty-Peck said that if those hours are not convenient she can make arrangements to meet people with donations at other times. Please call 860-848-8820 for more information.