Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, August 3, 2017
Fundraiser nets cash for local food pantry
Stonington Fire Chief Ryan Hayward, Jo Sullivan from the Island Food Pantry and firefighter William Shepard stand with a $500 donation.
by Faith DeAmbrose
If you happened to notice members of the Stonington Fire Department carrying around a boot, and asking for cash, on Fishermen’s Day, rest assured that those donations were part of what will become an annual effort to give back to the community, said Fire Chief Ryan Hayward.
Those donations, reaching $500, were recently given to the Island Food Pantry, where, according to Jo Sullivan, they will be put to good use. “Every little bit helps,” she said, adding that the food pantry has also been working to locally source as much food as possible thereby keeping money in the community. She said that while the food once came in large part from the Brewer-based Good Shepard Food Bank, the availability of products has decreased and the nonprofit has been looking a little closer to home to refill the shelves.
Sullivan said that the pantry has been working with Burnt Cove Market to purchase meats directly, as well as with local farmers and those growing extra surplus in their backyards. “We are looking for ways to maximize our money,” she said, especially given that the number of families using the service continues to increase.
Hayward said that while this was the first-of-its-kind fundraiser for the department, they plan to make it an annual occurrence with funds being donated to different island nonprofit groups.