Food banks in need as holidays approach

Local food banks are hoping people will find the spirit of giving heading into the holiday season.

“We’ve been busier than ever. We are doing more families than ever,” Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank Director Marty Lee Fenton said.

Fenton said the number of families using the food bank has been increasing. She said approximately 170 new families used the food bank in September. The food bank gave out more than 80,400 meals this year through the end of September, she said.

Fenton said the food bank has received less turkeys from the Connecticut Food Bank due to greater demand across the state. However, residents have stepped up and donated even more, she said.

“We are very thankful for any donation because that’s that many more people we can provide for,” Fenton said.

In addition to regular food items, Fenton said, the food bank is looking for toiletries and items she called “gremlins,” which don’t fit into any category. These include pickles, olives, condiments, and cooking oil.

Anyone wishing to donate can drop off items Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the food bank, 75 Spring St. in Naugatuck.

In Beacon Falls the food bank, which is run out of St. Michael’s Church, has also received a lot of help from residents.

“Beacon Falls is very self-sufficient. Basically we take care of our own,” said Louisa Heeman, who runs the food bank at St. Michael’s Church.

Heeman said the number of residents who use the food banks stays fairly steady throughout the year, with a small increase around the holiday time.

Heeman said between food drives held by the Post Office and the Boy Scouts, and donations from community organizations, the food bank always remains well stocked.

“I’m happy to say we are doing fantastic,” Heeman said.

Despite having a good amount of food, there are items that the food bank could use, Heeman said.

“We are always in need of paper products, such as napkins and toilet paper, or toiletries such as shampoo. They are really expensive, especially when you don’t have money to supply food,” Heeman said.

Heeman said if anyone wants to donate, they can contact St. Michael’s Church at (203) 729-2504.

In Prospect the foodbank is run through the mayor’s office. Anyone interested in can contact Prospect Town Hall at (203) 758-4461.

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