After about a month and a half of planning and stocking shelves, the town of Harwinton opened up its very own food pantry Tuesday.
"We started seeing Social Services increase," said Harwinton First Selectman Michael Criss. "More and more people with the economy going, without jobs, losing their homes, trying to figure out where they're going to get their next meal."
So, the town officials decided to open their own pantry, which is now located in the basement of the Harwinton Town Hall.
Officials said the pantry, which was stocked with canned food items, will be open to Harwinton residents every other Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Town officials said they expect to serve anywhere from 25 to 50 families.
"I'm actually overwhelmed at the number of people that want to help," said pantry volunteer Brigitte Bousquet.
While the town is providing the space, everything is donated.
A number of schools held can drives and local churches and organizations contributed food items.
A local Boy Scout worked on putting up walls and shelves as part of his Eagle Scout project and people gave money in order to buy a refrigerator.
Bousquet is one of three main volunteers manning the pantry.
"Knowing that I can help one family at least and I know we'll being helping a lot more," she said. "Even just one family makes a huge difference."
The biggest impact will be with those who might not qualify for food stamps, but are still struggling to make ends meet.
"We need to start helping each other," Criss said. "Obviously the state and federal governments have their own problems. Local government has to look after ourselves. That's the step we're taking."
To help out people can bring canned goods and non-perishables to the Harwinton Town Hall Monday through Friday.
They've also set up a fund for those looking to give money.
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