Battling hunger during the pandemic

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A million pounds is a lot of food.

But that’s what the local Connected Community Schools (CCS) initiative has distributed in the battle against hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food pantry program, launched last March by CCS in response to the COVID-19 situation, reached the millionth pound of food provided on Wednesday morning during a Holiday Food Giveaway from its location at the rear of Staley Elementary School.

One million pounds and 277 days later, the local Connected Community Schools (CCS) initiative continues to conduct regular free distributions of food to help meet families’ needs during the many difficulties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone from the surrounding area is welcome to come.

It is an achievement, yet also a “sad milestone” that “speaks to the volume of need” at this time, said Melissa Roys, executive director of the Community Alliance spearheading CCS, while standing outside Staley and helping to hand out food-packed boxes to people in vehicles.

A long line of waiting vehicles, snaking around the school’s main parking lot and out the entrance to continue along Bloomfield Street, had already gathered before the 10 a.m. start Wednesday for the food distribution.

Among items given out Wednesday, said Roys, were a full chicken or ham, plus potatoes, stuffing, produce, pasta, fruit, eggs and cereals. The amounts equated to about five meals for each packed box.

We owe the CCS a round of thankful applause for their major effort to alleviate hunger in our area.

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