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Viewfinder: Madison Food Pantry

Community Volunteers Step Up To Fill A Growing Need

When Vinny Diglio started as a volunteer with the Madison Food Pantry five years ago, there were about 10 to 15 households or individuals who were in need of the pantry's support.  Today Vinny, who now coordinates the pantry with his wife Margaret, says the pantry reaches between 350 and 400 individual clients and household members distributing some 2,500 pounds or more of grocery items per week.

Vinny told us the need for supplemental food in the community is  “constantly growing with more working poor people who have a job but have to make a choice between paying rent or buying food.”

With the support of Madison Community Services and some 60 volunteers, the food pantry opens its doors every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help those in need of basic groceries and other items. We visited the food pantry and the volunteers recently to learn a little bit about who they are and what they do.

As volunteers arrived to stock shelves, put out signage and deliver groceries to the homebound we found a well stocked mini-grocery store ready to serve clients thanks to the efforts those in the community willing to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand.

Some volunteers, like Vinny, had been offering their services for years while others had been on the job only a day or two.  We found volunteers who were in retirement, others who had available time when the kids were in school, as well as an unemployed Madison resident setting up a streetside sign to publicize the pantry’s hours.

 We also learned that volunteers from Madison’s Neighbor to Neighbor program extend the reach of the pantry by delivering to those who are homebound.

 Local retailers support the pantry with donated groceries and other items and the pantry also accepts and encourages cash donations to support its mission.

The pantry recently moved to a new location on Orchard Park Road in Madison.

 When asked if the Pantry had a need for cash donations or more volunteer help, Vinny responded “ Yes, Yes and Yes.”

For more information about the Madison Food Pantry you can call: (203) 318-5095

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