“Little Pantries” popping up to help neighbors all over Hartford county


EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — Leave what you can, take what you need — That’s the message on the many roadside food cabinets popping up all over communities in the Hartford area.

Tiernan Cabot is the founder of Hartford Bags of Love. He said, “So many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and there’s been a rise in food insecurity so we saw the need in the community communities around us and in South Windsor so we tried to help.”

This story started when Cabot was just 9-years-old. He and his family were serving dinner to the homeless when a conversation with one of those patrons changed his life.

“It just broke me, I was so heartbroken to hear that someone had to go through something like that, and I wanted to do something,” Cabot said.

He put together “Bags of Love” for people going through homelessness, stocked with essentials and toiletries. It started a conversation in the community, and volunteers have rallied behind him.

“Yes, it’s his idea, but the charity has really become part of the community,” said Mark Cabot, Tiernan’s dad.

Now 13, the young philanthropist is expanding his charitable offerings. The pandemic sparked the idea of constructing “little pantries.” They can be found at churches, schools, and even in front yards, all restocked by generous neighbors who want to help. 

“I think it’s so great that people are really feeling comfortable taking it because I think people really need it right now,” Cabot said. “And this is just another source along with the food bank where people are able to get what they need. And the people who give what they can. It’s also incredible because out of the goodness of their own heart they’re just dropping off the food anonymously.”

There are two of these little food pantries in East Windsor right now with more coming.

To find out more about Hartford Bags of Love, click here.

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