West Haven agency seeing greater need for food donations

New Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As Thanksgiving approaches, food pantries are looking for donations. They have lots of plates to fill this holiday.

Friday was a busy day at the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force, or W.H.E.A.T.Related Content:News 8’s Forecast to End Hunger Food Drive

Just as families are busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, volunteers are getting food ready to donate to families in need. They sorted through boxes and cans of food, putting bags of fixings together so families will get one with their turkey. They’re still in need of donations – including turkeys – as they get ready to provide hundreds of families with what they’ll need to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.

“I’ve seen the hunger on the streets. I’ve seen people in need,” said Donna Rzasa, a W.H.E.A.T. supporter. “It gives me such a great feeling to help out every year.”

That need has been increasing every year. More low income families have moved to West Haven.

Rose Majestic is the executive director of W.H.E.A.T. She’s noticed a staggering jump in the number of families needing help.

“When I came 15 years ago we were serving 1,850 households,” she said. “Now we’re up past 5,000.”

W.H.E.A.T. helps provide food to about 1,000 children as well. Though it’s had help from volunteers and the community, there are more and more families who need help putting food on the table.

“We serve mainly women who are alone and have no support system, veterans and underemployed families,” Majestic said.

Volunteers will continue to sort through donated fruits and vegetables, as well as nonperishable food donations. They want to make sure everyone has a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy and food on the table year round.

“The reason I’m so dedicated to it is I want to make sure while I’m sitting down having my dinner that there’s a meal on everyone else’s table as well,” Rzasa said.

For more information about how you can help W.H.E.A.T. please visit the agency’s website: http://www.wheatpantry.org/index.html.

News 8 is teaming up with the Connecticut Food Bank for a food drive. It’s the WTNH Forecast to End Hunger. It will be held on Saturday, November 18 at the Shoprite store in East Haven from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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