Pasta, vegetables and a rainbow of nonperishable necessities fill the shelves of the thanks to small and large donations from neighbors.
One faithful partner in providing staples for Farmington families is Unionville .
The grocery store continuously runs several programs to encourage patrons to donate a few dollars at the register or pick up a few extra items and drop them in a collection box in the front of the store. The cumulative effect adds up.
The Unionville grocery store turned over a check for $2,061 to Farmington Food Pantry representatives Monique Kucia and Anne Oberg Thursday afternoon. The money was raised through the Food for Friends program, which allowed customers to purchase paper turkeys in exchange for a few dollars donation.
“It’s all thanks to the generosity of our customers,” said store manager Steven Boyer.
Locals who shop at the store are very supportive of the food pantry, he said. Students from ran a drive last weekend and collected 17 cartloads of donations, he said. They will be back again tomorrow, handing out lists of suggested items for donation.
But it’s not just the customers. Stop & Shop facilitates the drives and makes sure the items reach the pantry.
Volunteer Don Rogers delivers boxes of donations every few weeks. As the boxes fill up, he fills the truck and brings them to Farmington Social Services.
The store also puts together bags of items for donation that shoppers can purchase for $5, $10 or $15. That makes it easier for customers, Boyer said but it also helps the store meet the pantry’s particular needs so the pantry doesn't end up with a disproprotionate amount of a particular item. Currently, Oberg said, they’re looking for bar soap and laundry detergent, which are frequently overlooked.
It’s important for the pantry to have a variety of items to meet families’ needs.
“We want to empower people to make choices about their food,” Oberg said. “It all goes on the shelves and the pantry looks like a mini-grocery store.”
“Food is our business – that’s what we do,” Boyer said. “We want to generate as much food for people who need it as we possibly can.”