Summer is tough for families in need of food; 500 families use the Windsor Food Bank

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Jul. 11, 2013
Stop & Shop holds a food drive for the Windsor Food Bank the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The next food drive will be Aug. 3. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

During Thanksgiving and Christmas and through the winter, many residents are aware of people in need and often donate to organizations that help, such as the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank. Once summer approaches, however, many families are getting ready to send their children to camp or going on vacations and people are not thinking of donating food, according to Jane Garibay, who is president of the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank.

“Summer is a really tough time for needy people,” said Garibay. She said children are out of school, and those who are eating free and reduced-price meals throughout the year now need to be fed at home. Garibay mentioned there is a supplemental summer food program for children available, which provides families with “kid-friendly” foods, fresh produce and bread items. As part of the program, the food bank distributes food five times a month to members.

The food bank currently has more than 500 registered families using the service. Some of the items they are looking to restock are peanut butter, jelly, cereal, juice, canned meat (tuna, chicken), meal starters, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta and sauce.

“People can donate this summer at the concerts on the green,” said Garibay. “We are encouraging people to bring one non-perishable item; we get about a thousand people, that would be a thousand cans a week.”

Concerts on the green are held Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., July 11 through Aug. 22. The food bank is also hoping neighborhoods can get together food donations when they do block parties or other summer events, according to Garibay.

The organization also wanted residents to be aware that the first Saturday of each month the local Stop & Shop has a food drive, so when people are shopping they can pick up a few items to donate. The next food drive will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Aug. 3.

The food bank also offers meat to families, which is available for pick up once a month and varies based on what items are donated.

Businesses, places of worship, camps, neighborhoods and anyone else interested in hosting a food drive can contact Cyndi Deshais at 860-688-0645 or Ann Walsh at 860-688-5165. The food bank will pick up donations if necessary and for those interested in dropping off, Garibay advised to call ahead at 860-285-1839 to make sure someone is available to accept the donations.

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