Local food pantries in need of donations to make Thanksgiving meals


NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– The holiday season can be stressful, especially for those now hoping to provide a holiday meal for their families. With smaller gatherings there will be more people looking for a turkey and all the trimmings.

“Today we were doing corn and mixed vegetables, a can of beans,” explained Kerry Seltzer, a volunteer with the New London Area Food Pantry which boxes up a variety of food for its clients twice a week. 

Thursday the volunteers gave out all the boxes they had.

“We had well over a hundred clients in a two hour period,” said Lynn Wynn, the pantry’s Resource Manager.

They have a variety of meat options like chicken, ground beef, and ham, but it’s turkeys and all the trimmings people want for their Thanksgiving dinner now.

The pantry is open Mondays and Thursdays so they expect that on Monday afternoon they are going to be extremely busy with people coming in looking for all the makings of a holiday meal. 

They say they are going to put a very nice box together for each one of them.

“Maybe we get turkey,” said the Pantry Manager Geraldo Gonzales. “If we don’t get turkey, we’ll get the chicken.”

“Depends on the availability because there are a lot of food pantries and soup kitchens requesting holiday food,” said Wynn.

The Connecticut food bank is hoping to fill many of those requests. 

It has a number of turkey distribution events coming up including four on Friday in Hamden, Norwich, New London, and New Haven. 

With smaller gatherings more turkeys are needed.

“And we’re really hoping people will be generous,” said the Connecticut Food Bank’s Paul Shipman.

Related: News 8’s Gr8 Thanksgiving Food Drive is happening this weekend!

On Saturday, News 8 will help collect donations at the Connecticut Food Bank in Wallingford where frozen turkeys and healthy non-perishable food items are needed. 

“Low salt, low sugar, whole wheat items,” said Shipman.

The ‘Gr8 Thanksgiving Food Drive!’ is in person and virtual and monetary donations can make a real difference.

“Every dollar can help us buy enough food to provide two meals,” said Shipman.

The food bank says its agencies saw a fifty percent jump in demand long before this holiday season.

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