NEW BRITAIN – Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz joined Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation and Saint James Missionary Baptist Church in distributing food boxes Wednesday morning to those in need.
“There is a food shortage in the area due to the pandemic and we are grateful for the administration of Gov. Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz standing with us as we endeavor to meet the needs of the New Britain community, as well as the greater New Britain area,” said Reverend Dr. John W. Walker, Saint James Missionary Baptist Church.
Cars pulled into the church’s parking lot located at 45 Daley Ave and lined up single file. Participants were asked to pop their trunk or open their back window, bring their cars to a complete stop alongside the pallets of food sheltered by canopies and a food box was placed in their cars by a volunteer. Everyone was asked to stay in their cars during the event to keep everyone safe.
“Since March, as I’ve worked with local food banks and community partners to distribute food to those in need, the number of residents lining up to receive basic pantry staples reminds me of the stories my grandparents used to share about the bread lines during the Great Depression,” Bysiewicz said. “As we continue to fight food insecurity in our state, nonprofits like Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation and programs like the USDA Farmers to Families food box program, continue to be a lifeline for so many members of our community.”
The food boxes consisted of items like meat, cheese, yogurt, apples, potatoes, onions and a gallon of milk.
“The goal is to give out about 3,000 boxes,” Walker said. “That’s been about the average the past few Wednesdays.”
All the volunteers were equipped with face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and fluorescent vests. Every so often the volunteers were instructed to change their gloves and put on a new pair.
“It’s been inspiring to see so many volunteers of all ages showing up to help with food distribution, even in the rain like today,” Bysiewicz said.
The church is also looking into expanding their distribution hours.
“Once the schedule is more formalized we will let people know there will be some evening distribution hours also,” Walker said. “And certainly we are grateful for the different donations that have come in through corporations that are helping out. Most importantly we want to thank the volunteers who have volunteered their time in making sure these efforts run smoothly and the people are being fed.”
In the meantime, donations are always encouraged.
“I’ve been impressed by the generosity of the people of Connecticut who come forward and contribute to FoodShare and Connecticut Food Bank,” Bysiewicz said. “As we get closer to the holiday season, I encourage people to consider making donations to our food banks. Let’s all work together to ensure no one goes hungry in our state.”