Local food pantries struggling during holiday season

NORWICH – With the holiday season nearing its peak, local food pantries are feeling the pinch as demand for the services they provide increases, while supplies for those in need continue to diminish.

According to Catholic Charities Roots and Wings Director of Community Outreach Gary Quarella, food pantries throughout the county are seeing an increased need for foodstuffs and other supplies, especially during the holidays and the cold winter months ahead. And while supplies have “definitely decreased,” said Quarella, Roots and Wings has the capacity to accept all manner of food donations – including those from local retailers and farmers – which can then be re-distributed to other local food pantries.

“Once we get through the holiday season, due to our annual funding cycles, January and February are always a tough time for us and the other local pantries,” stated Quarella. “With demand increasing, supply is down, and we’re looking for any and all donations we can find.”

In 2009, Roots and Wings alone provided food for approximately 4,700 families, and Quarella said he’s anticipating that number to go over the 5,000 mark for 2010. In total, Roots and Wings provided services for 11,000 families throughout the county last year, with an estimated 12,000 expected to have requested aid in 2010.

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