Storrs Congressional Church collaborated with Connecticut Foodshare by opening a pantry for students and surrounding communities.
In April 2021, the Storrs Congressional Church moved their food pantry from a small closet-sized room to a larger room due to increasing demand from the community. Since then, SCC has collaborated with Connecticut Foodshare and other organizations.
Jan Hoyle, Storrs Congressional Church’s coordinator of outreach ministries, described the current situation in terms of collaboration between organizations to provide food to Connecticut communities.
“[Connecticut Foodshare] came to us and felt that there was a need at the university,” Hoyle said.
Since the partnership, SCC has moved their food pantry to a larger room, allowing them to increase their supply.
Connecticut Foodshare’s President and CEO, Jason Jakubowski, detailed the impact of the program on communities.
“So far in a year, we have distributed about 18,000 pounds of food at the Storrs Congressional Church,” Jakubowski said.
In Sept. 2022, SCC provided a total of 2,177 pounds of food to 52 UConn student households, which is the equivalent of 1,814 meals. About 23 students visit the pantry per week. In total, they have served about 150 households and 342 individuals between UConn students and the surrounding community.
“There are about 420,000 people in the state of Connecticut who are food insecure,” Jakubowski said.
Connecticut Foodshare shared a list of food they have collected to SCC.
“We order from [Connecticut Foodshare] from a list of what [they have] available, ” Hoyle explained.
Usually this includes a variety of meats and vegetables. Prior to the partnership, church members were supplying directly to the pantry.
SCC weekly stores choices of meats, breads and fresh produce. They have provided gluten-free options and vegan meats. Based on SCC’s September statistics, SCC plans to distribute 10 tons of food, equivalent to 16,000 meals, to UConn students and surrounding communities for the academic year.
On Monday mornings, SCC gets anywhere between 60 and 200 pounds of fresh packaged produce from grocery store Big Y in Tolland. Price Chopper in Mansfield sends donated produce and other goods on Sundays.
The Connecticut Foodshare is a non-profit organization that plans to eradicate food hunger in the state. They collect donated food and distribute it through a network of pantries across the state. Connecticut Foodshare has approximately 600 partnerships including pantries, soup kitchens and mobile truck sites.
The Storrs Congregational Church is located at 2 North Eagleville Rd, Storrs, Mansfield, CT. The food pantry is open on Sundays from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Mondays from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Tuesdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.