Make a Difference: St. Vincent de Paul food pantry (through Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor food center)

WHAT: Food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul Place, 120 Cliff St., Norwich, CT 06360

AGENCY: Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, 374 Broad St., New London, which provides food to 96 local distribution sites, including soup kitchens, community pantries, shelters, programs for youth, the elderly and the ill.

SITUATION: Since 1979 St. Vincent de Paul, one of the Food Center's distribution sites, has been meeting the needs of people. Their goal is to serve those struggling with food insecurity by providing food, case management, and hope. While helping with their immediate needs, they work to motivate patrons toward self-sufficiency and a better life. During the month of October 2012, St. Vincent distributed more than 20,000 meals to 953 people - a 24 percent increase from September. During the holiday season, money is tight as people try to cover rising heating bills and other holiday expenses. St. Vincent's goal is give each food pantry household a canned ham to serve during the holiday season.

WHAT TO GIVE: Small, medium and large canned or frozen hams. Other items: canned meats, soup, cereal, pasta and pasta sauce.

TO DONATE: Call the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center at (860) 444-8050.

www.theday.com/makeadifference

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