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Cornwall Food and Fuel Fund needs boost

CORNWALL — Rising household costs and lagging donations to the Food and Fuel Fund were described in a report by the Social Services department to the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Social Services Director Heather Dinneen said that donations have dwindled, but families’ needs are way up, reflected in increased use of the local Food Bank to offset other increases in household costs. The fuel assistance program has also grown in numbers of families needing help.

Anticipating $25,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding, as well as the benefit of membership in the Connecticut Food Bank program, Dinneen said that food items will begin to arrive soon in bulk. The minimum order is 500 pounds. Deliveries will arrive on Thursdays. The program will remain free to the town through 2023.

First Selectman Gordon Ridgway said that a new freezer may be needed because some food will arrive frozen.

“We hope to get the income up. Some of the effects of the pandemic are still lingering,” Ridgway said. He plans to distribute an appeal letter to the community soon to encourage donations.

“We will help keep things open and servicing people and resources,” Ridgway said. “We have a solid plan moving forward,” he added.

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