Town: Demand at New Canaan Food Pantry Nearly Doubles in January


Inside the New Canaan Food Pantry at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Credit: Michael Dinan

Demand at the New Canaan Food Pantry nearly doubled year-over-year in January, officials say.

In the first month of 2024, 96 households and 220 individuals used the volunteer-run Food Pantry located at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church that’s overseen by the Department of Human Services, according to the municipal agency’s director, Bethany Zaro. The numbers are up from 53 households and 118 individuals in January 2023, respectively, she said.

“The state of the economy, the increased affordable housing—the low-income housing that has been completed in New Canaan—this drives our numbers,” Zaro said at the Feb. 1 meeting of the Health & Human Services Commission, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

Her comments came during a general update to the appointed body. She referred to Canaan Parish, which has been rebuilt at greater density. 

Demand has been rising steadily at the Food Pantry, which saw record-high use in the fall.

In January 2022, the Food Pantry saw 39 households and 90 individuals availing themselves of it, Zaro said.

The Food Pantry provides non-perishable items to qualified individuals and families living in New Canaan. It’s open every other Tuesday for two one-hour distribution sessions, where volunteers sort, stock and bag groceries. Donations are accepted seven days per week at St. Mark’s (non-perishable and non-expired food can be placed on any table inside the Food Pantry).

Items currently needed at the New Canaan Food Pantry include:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned Tomatoes 
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Tuna
  • Unsweetened/ Sweet Apple Sauce
  • Parmalat or Any Boxed Non-Refrigerated Milk
  • Juice Packs
  • Salsa
  • Mayo
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • Salad Dressing 
  • Taco Kits  
  • Toothpaste
  • Tissues
  • Dishwashing Detergent
  • Paper Towel 
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Feminine Products 

Monetary donations for the pantry can be mailed to Human Services at 77 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840. Please make checks payable to the ‘New Canaan Food Pantry.’ If you are a resident in need of food, please call the Human Services Department at 203-594-3076.

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