by Georgia Adams
Near & Far Aid is proud to support King’s Pantry, which is a “grass roots” organization operating under the umbrella of Healing Tree Economic Development, Inc.
For 31 years, its volunteers have distributed critical food supplies to the elderly, low income, distressed and homeless populations through its emergency food pantry, located in Bridgeport’s East End. They also offer a weekly outreach feeding service bringing sandwiches, beverages and desserts to homeless individuals in downtown Bridgeport on days when community kitchens are closed.
King’s Pantry’s leadership was tested during the Covid pandemic when several nearby food pantries shuttered. They were one of the few to remain open and the number served grew dramatically, with an estimated 170,000 meals provided last year. Volunteers stood outside the pantry to distribute food to lines of people stretching along city blocks.
King’s Pantry receives its food supplies from the CT Food Bank and from generous donations provided by Stop & Shop, Target and other suppliers. These types of donations often involve last minute phone calls advising KP of fresh food available for picked up. In 2020, with assistance provided through Near & Far Aid’s Covid Relief Fund, Healing Tree purchased a second-hand UHaul truck to facilitate food pick-ups for King’s Pantry. Because of this purchase, King’s Pantry is able to take advantage of higher quality food offerings for their constituents. This year, in addition to our regular operating grant to the organization, Near & Far Aid has made another special gift to help Healing Tree purchase a commercial grade cooler to store fresh produce for distribution.
Near & Far Aid has proudly supported King’s Pantry for well over a decade. The herculean efforts of its leadership and volunteers, at a most critical time, have made a lasting impact in addressing food insecurity for the most vulnerable in the community.