Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry operates out of The Pilgrim House at 30 Granite Avenue in Canaan as a mission of the North Canaan Congregational Church. Since early 2018 we have been open on Tuesday evenings from 5-7 in addition to Thursday afternoons from 12-2. We are happy to be able to serve more people, including residents of Canaan, Falls Village and Norfolk.
In need of nourishing food? We would love to see you during those hours. Signing up is easy, so please come over.
We believe that evangelism — offering bread to those in search of it — is God’s mission. Our perspective is global, not provincial. We work with — not against — people of other faiths. Why? Because God is still speaking, –-UCC
Our motto is “Feed the Community you want to live in.”
Terri Brennan, organic micro-green farmer, feeds the community in which she lives! We receive deliveries from her SHARON MOUNTAIN GREENS almost every week. She personally stocks our refrigerated shelves with these luscious, nutritious, organic micro-greens. Our Fishes & Loaves clients couldn’t be happier!
WE GOT SO MUCH BETTER ABLE TO SERVE CLIENTS IN 2017!
It takes a lot to keep a food pantry running smoothly. Given the massive quantities of food we bring in every month we were in need of a better way to store, rotate, inventory and distribute the food on our shelves. In 2017 Kevin Farnham saw this need and volunteered to implement a
new storage system. He supervised the cleaning up of a little-used room; designed four free-standing shelf units to fit our specifications; procured free building materials from C.A. Lindell & Son (owner Robert Riva and store manager Peter Broggi were most generous); built the shelves, and put them into place. This was all done within a matter of days. Michael Harrington of Mountainside, single-handedly gave the south storage room the five fresh coats of paint and North Canaan Congregational Church’s Rich Forman solved our HVAC issues. Additional Mountainside volunteers helped with the clean-up and stocking of shelves and our long-time volunteers from the Canaan Seventh Day Adventist Church rounded out the effort. In the end, we have a beautiful and efficient south storage room that we are proud to show off.
This will give an idea of the work involved and how our generous and skilled volunteers improved our space and efficiency:
Stay tuned to see what upcoming events we will have!
We are always in need of funds to support our program and are grateful for monetary donations. Please send your funds to:
Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry
PO Box 306
Canaan CT 06018
The Pilgrim House at 30 Granite Avenue, Canaan
Louise Riley, Director
We continue to be amazed by the food contributions that come through our doors; many times with no indication of who the donor is. Serving people in need from Canaan, Falls Village and Norfolk, we are privileged to have this very important work within our church. The pantry originally opened by Lois Carlson in 1992 as a church-supported program.
Our prolific alliance with Stop & Shop, through a partnership with the Connecticut Food Bank, yields donations to our pantry three times a week. From the CT Food Bank we also receive meat, produce, eggs, milk and dry goods, which are delivered to us on a regular basis. This requires weekly and monthly reporting plus yearly inspections and staff training. We also travel to Waterbury to pick up turkey and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal.
Next are the community churches, which notably include: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Canaan United Methodist Church and Canaan Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
There are many organizations that we depend upon. These include: Community Foundation of NW Connecticut, Music for Food at Music Mountain, Immaculate Conception Church, The Boy Scouts of America, CropWalk, The Canaan Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The Archdiocese of Hartford, Daughters of Isabella, The Salisbury Rotary Club, Geer Village, Northwest Connecticut YMCA, North Canaan Elementary School, Local 1303 AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Berkshire School and Salisbury School. Salisbury Bank holds collections for food and money on a regular basis.
We would like to mention one particular individual who generously donates turkeys to us twice a year: Known as NASCAR Dave, he is Dave MacMillan of Millerton, New York. We also collaborate with Pet Partners and can provide our clients with dog and cat food. There are, of course, many farmers, businesses and individuals who donate food as well as monetary funds to Fishes and Loaves. We celebrate all the individuals and organizations that support us.
We are currently providing more food to each client than we ever have before. And in 2015 we served 171 different households. Clients are actually able to shop for the food that they want from our store shelves. The pantry is currently open on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00. Stop in some time on a Tuesday as we get ready for the next morning. You will be impressed with what your church does.
Helping people get enough food for their families is gratifying work for the staff of Fishes and Loaves and a critical mission for our church. We feel it is an honor and are all committed to what we do. We strive to make people feel comfortable and welcome at Pilgrim House. We care. We help people cope with the struggle.
We are more than just peanut butter, jelly and tuna fish. We are a community mission.
We are about making people feel more secure about where their food is coming from. Our clients depend on us to provide some of their staples; whether that is potatoes or rice, tuna fish or peanut butter, onions or apples, cereal or mac nâ cheese, milk, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, black-eyed peas, hummus chips, green beans, spinach, cabbage, kale and bread. Sometimes, thanks to generous donors, we offer coffee and cakes; and for Valentines Day every client who came to the Pilgrim House walked out with chocolate truffles.
We are available to anyone from Canaan, Falls Village or Norfolk who needs food. Some folks need help for just a week or two and others for a more extended period of time. Looking toward the future, we have these goals:
- To raise the community’s awareness of our program.
- To make everyone who walks through our doors at Pilgrim House feel welcome.
- To reach more of the community members who are in need of our services.
- To increase the nutritional value of the food we distribute.
- To have the food pantry open every week, unless severe weather conditions prohibit.