IHSP Thanksgiving Food Baskets
Each year, during the Thanksgiving season, clients and others in the community are offered the opportunity to choose items for a Thanksgiving meal. We offer canned and fresh vegetables, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, gravy, fresh fruit, instant, canned or fresh potatoes, breads, desserts and a turkey.
Call 860-928-0169 [leave message] to reserve your Thanksgiving basket. If you are a Daily Bread client you can place your request during your food pick up. If you are not a regular client, your request will be added to a wait list and you will be called by the Friday before Thanksgiving to confirm your request. We make every effort to serve everyone in need of a Thanksgiving meal.
Distribution takes place in the Living Faith United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on the Monday (from 11:00am until 7:00pm) before Thanksgiving. Sign ups begin in October and continue until the Friday before Thanksgiving in November.
IHSP Summer Food Program and Snak Paks
Offered through the Putnam Public Schools and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Seamless Summer Food Program offers free breakfast and lunch to any child, aged 18 or younger. It began as an open site in 2009 and participation in the program has continued to grow since that time. Sites vary each year but generally meals are available at the Putnam Elementary and High Schools (breakfast and lunch) and the Putnam Public Library and the Community Room at Hampshire Heights (lunch only.) All meals are free and must be eaten on site. The program runs from the end of school until the second Friday in August. Several sites offer free, family-fun programs. In order to provide for family time and table conversation, Interfaith Human Services of Putnam provides a significant grant in order to allow adults the opportunity to eat with their children or grandchildren. This grant has enabled hundreds of adults the opportunity to participate in the program.
In 2008, IHSP began its Summer Food Program, offering families the opportunity to use the food pantry twice a month. In 2009, Summer “Snak Paks” were added to the offerings. The intent was to provide children with food they could fix for themselves if their parents were working. “Snak Paks” contain macaroni and cheese or a pasta meal, canned fruit, juice, cereal, granola bar, pudding, peanut butter or cheese crackers and other items when they are available.
IHSP Nourishing Neighbors
Our Nourishing Neighbors Program is multi-faceted.
COUPON PROGRAM - Helping people eat healthier is important to us. Recognizing many of our clients could benefit from making small shifts in their daily eating habits to improve their long term health; and realizing that most of our clients do not have the financial resources to purchase fresh-frozen vegetables, we expanded our Coupon Program to include both Vegetable/Fruit and Farmer’s Market coupons.
Coupons are now provided for dairy, juice and fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables. They can be used at Putnam Supermarket and Putnam Walmart. As an option, clients can also participate in our Farmer’s Market Program which offers Daily Bread Food Pantry clients $3.00 coupons which can be used at the local Farmer’s Market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
REDUCING FOOD WASTE - We are reducing food waste in America by participating in a Feeding America/Connecticut Food Bank Program which partners with local supermarkets. Stop n Shop, Price Chopper and Big Y are helping to reduce food waste by providing our clients and others with fresh fruits, vegetables and frozen meats.
PLANT-A-ROW/GROW-A-ROW - As part of our gardening program individuals who grow their own vegetables are encouraged to plant an extra row and donate them to the Daily Bread Food Pantry.
As an example of how easy it is to grow your own vegetables, the IHSP-Daily Bread Food Pantry plants their own garden each year using the vegetables that are raised for their clients. In 2018, this program was expanded to the Bulger/St. Onge Housing Complex. Clients living in this complex were encouraged to adopt a portion of a grow bed and raise their own vegetables. Tenants will do the planting, watering, weeding and harvesting and determine how the vegetables will be used. Grow beds, built by the Tourtellotte Memorial High School, and funded through NDDH Healthquest, were used for this garden. One was also provided to the Putnam Public Library.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - In 2018 as a means of empowering people to grown their own food, we offered our first Pot 2 Table Educational Program working with adults and younger children. Led by Karen Osbrey and Cindy Froslie, participants were provided with everything they needed to grow their own tomato plant. Twelve adults and children participated. One family was so excited they went home and started their own Pot Garden.
Northeastern Connecticut Community Kitchens
Presently all Community Kitchens sites are providing "Take Out Only" meals. All meals are free. During the covid pandemic, they are also providing a bag of groceries. The sites are open at noontime at the following locations. Monday-First Congregational Church of Woodstock; Tuesday-Congregational Church in Central Village; Wednesday-United Methodist Church of Danielson and Friday-Moosup United Methodist Church.
Living Faith United Methodist Church Community Cafe
The Community Cafe serves a curbside take out meal on Bradley Street every Thursday between 11-12.