Food pantries distribute groceries directly to people in need and provide emergency or short-term assistance with food. Some food pantries may also provide referral or educational resources on government assistance programs, counseling, or nonfinancial support such as clothing.
While the exact type of food provided will vary based on the pantry or resources available at the food bank, in general many will provide perishable items, vegetables, bread, frozen items, and others forms of nutritious meals. Food is collected through donations, food drives or direct purchases and distributed at local sites across the state. They are usually coordinated by municipal social service or senior service offices or by faith communities and other community-based organizations.
Many food pantries are part of larger food bank networks including Foodshare (Hartford and Tolland counties) and CT Food Bank (all other counties).