The cabinets at Norwich Free Academy’s in-school meals pantry are naked. The pantry grew to become depleted when the pandemic first hit. Since then, it has been a problem to maintain the cabinets stocked as the necessity solely grows.
“The necessity simply bought a lot greater. Households misplaced their jobs,” mentioned Shirley Kutia, who runs the meals pantry and the free clothes program at Norwich Free Academy. “It doubled.”
Throughout a standard college 12 months, NFA sends wherever from 50 to 75 college students house with a weekly bag of free meals. Through the pandemic, workers has been delivering meals to some households who categorical want. They hear related considerations from dad and mom frequently.
“They aren’t having the ability to feed their youngsters,” mentioned Kutia. “Their youngsters are hungry.”
The management workforce at Backus Hospital discovered in regards to the problem NFA was going through and determined to step in and assist.
“It simply appeared like the right alignment for us to assist our neighborhood,” mentioned Donna Handley, president of Backus Hospital.
Backus chosen NFA because the 2020 recipient of the hospital’s President’s Award for Group Partnership. The award features a $10,000 donation to help NFA’s meals pantry and their clothes program, often called the Wildcat Loft. The Wildcat Loft additionally provides toiletries and college provides to college students without charge.
“Like Backus Hospital, Norwich Free Academy is a part of the bedrock of our neighborhood, and we’re honored to help within the Wildcat Loft’s great work — offering college students with meals, clothes and important gadgets to make sure well being and keep dignity,” mentioned Handley.
Kutia mentioned that the donation will allow the varsity to restock the pantry. They anticipate that, as soon as college students return to highschool for in-person studying, they are going to be sending house greater than 100 baggage of meals on a weekly foundation.
“We’re going to fill it to the ceiling,” mentioned Kutia. “We can not wait to go to the shop and purchase meals for all of those households.”
Along with filling the meals pantry, the cash from Backus helped NFA present 50 households with Thanksgiving meals.