Feed Your Neighbor Fund NWCT

A group of concerned residents has launched the Feed Your Neighbor Fund NWCT with the mission of supporting local non-profit organizations dedicated to feeding families and individuals facing food insecurity during the pandemic.  The volunteers – Denise Butwill, George Noujaim and Greg Brisco – will communicate with the organizations and provide the food most needed, most often fresh and perishable food items, dependent on donations from the community.

A partnership between area businesses that may purchase food at wholesale prices, and area residents of the community, just like those reading, will ensure that our neighbors will not go hungry in the weeks and months ahead. There is great concern among non-profits that with the down turn in the economy caused by the Coronavirus, and with so many facing unemployment, and the potential of losing their homes with the landlord moratorium ending, that shelves in food pantries and soup kitchens will become bare.

The project plan is that local non-profit organizations will be contacted to determine what their current needs are. Then donated funds will be used to purchase food at wholesale prices that will be delivered directly to organizations for distribution. George Noujaim, of Noujaim’s Bistro in Winsted, readily agreed to be a purchaser for the Feed Your Neighbor Fund of NWCT. 

Donations may be made below or by writing and mailing a check to Northwest CT YMCA at  259 Prospect Street, Torrington, CT 06790. Please write “Feed Your Neighbor Fund NWCT” on the memo line. Also, donors may make the choice of contributing to a specific community – Torrington, Winsted or Canaan, or to where it is most needed in the memo. 

Choose your donation location:

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After consultation with members of the NWCT Food Collaborative, it was decided to begin with the following organizations: the FISH NWCT Food Pantry, The Open Door Soup Kitchen, New Opportunities and the Friendly Hands Food Bank. These organizations have seen a substantial increase in need since the start of the COVID – 19 pandemic, and it is expected that the demand will continue to grow in the months ahead. The pantries and soup kitchens supported may be added upon as the need in our area changes. The Feed Your Neighbor NWCT Fund committee will continue to hold discussions with the NWCT Food Collaborative for further input and guidance.

FISH/Friends in Service to Humanity of Northwestern Connecticut – provides the most basic of human needs – food, shelter and hope. Last year at the FISH NWCT Food Pantry, enough food was distributed to provide 113,841 meals.  There were 657 families enrolled to receive food – representing 1506 individuals. FISH depends on the generosity of the community for food and financial contributions.

The Open Door Soup Kitchen, located in Winsted, has been providing meals to go since the start of the pandemic. They provide meals to anyone suffering from food insecurity, no questions asked. They receive no federal funding and are supported 100% by community donations.

New Opportunities, serves all of Litchfield county, and is located in Torrington. Approximately 15% of the Torrington population benefited from services provided by New Opportunities last year.  Since the pandemic they are distributing food. Their first distribution after the start of the pandemic saw 170 families lined up for 100 bags of food. They are also the only agency distributing food with a bilingual staff and have seen an increase in Spanish speakers.  When appropriate, they partner with FISH, sending clients to the food pantry, providing language translation.

Friendly Hands Food Bank, located in Torrington, also serves the communities of Goshen, Litchfield, Northfield, Morris, Harwinton, Bantam, and Thomaston. During the Coronavirus they are providing nearly 23,000 meals a month thanks to a grant delivering weekly truckloads of food and produce to distribute to the food insecure. Pre – COVID – 19, Friendly Hands served over 1000 clients in need/representing over 300 families.

For more information email FeedYourNeighborNWCT@gmail.com or call Denise Butwill at 860-567-2035

Thank you, for feeding your neighbor.