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High protein foods needed for food pantry

SOUTHBURY — Brownstein Jewish Family Service (JFS) in Southbury is again teaming up with United Way and the Greater Waterbury Emergency Food Resource Committee, a coalition of area food pantries and soup kitchens, to help with the annual Stock the Pantry food drive. Brownstein JFS will be collecting high protein food such as tuna, salmon, canned meats or stews, hearty soups, beans and peanut butter, and donations can be dropped off at the Jewish Federation office at 444 Main Street North. Those participating in activities at the building are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items. The food drive will run through June 20, United Way’s Day of Action.

In 2012, United Way 2-1-1 reported a 38 percent increase in requests for food assistance within the greater Waterbury community. All of the local food pantries and soup kitchens are seeing huge increases in the numbers of clients they are serving. Current inventory levels are not able to meet the increase in demand, and the summer months are an especially high-risk time for low income families. During the school year, school lunches and breakfasts can provide more than one-half of the nutrients low-income children consume every weekday. When children lose access to these meals during the summer, they and their families find it difficult to fill this gap. As a result, local families will go hungry.

Last year’s Stock the Pantry initiative was a great success, with 37 local companies contributing 3,802 pounds of food. Alef Bet Preschool and B’nai Israel Religious School students have already donated many bags of groceries. Donated food is distributed by the Connecticut Food Bank to local soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters.

For more information, contact Debby Horowitz, Brownstein JFS director, at (203) 267-3177 x310.

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