The Day – Kindness in real life: Food distribution on October 23 in Niantic

East Lyme Masonic Lodges, Brainard Lodge # 102, Bay View Lodge # 120, and Union Lodge # 31 are sponsoring food drive Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 at Bay View Masonic Temple on Society Road in Niantic for the benefit of the East Lyme Food Pantry.

Masons will be there to help you with your donations. You don’t have to get out of your car. Peanut butter, cereals, pasta sauces, pasta, canned vegetables, tuna or any other non-perishable item are welcome. This time of year, cranberry sauce, stuffing, canned sweet potatoes, grocery gift cards and monetary donations (on behalf of SSKP-EL Pantry) are welcome. No expired food will be accepted.

The East Lyme Food Pantry has been serving guests at East Lyme since 2009, but it has never seen the number of families needing help since March 2020, when it all came to a halt due to COVID. The pantry has not missed a week since this closure and many weeks have served more than 200 families. The numbers have stabilized now and are generally between 90 and 100 families per week.

EL Food Pantry is part of Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries, which serves East Lyme residents west of Madison and north of Killingworth and Chester. During the pandemic, no one had to show their residence and many families came from New London, Waterford, Norwich and Groton for food.

The pantry is housed in the Episcopal Church of Saint John in Niantic. The drive-by is open from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday. If you cannot collect food on the 23rd, donations are accepted Thursday morning from 10:30 am to noon in the back parking lot of St. John’s, 400 Main St., Niantic.

Sherrie Weiss, the Pantry Manager, organizes the Pantry with the help of countless local volunteers. If you have any questions, Sherrie can be reached at (203) 300-6712.

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