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St. Stephen's
Episcopal Church

The Little Pantry


24-Hour Pantry Helps Fight Against Hunger

According to a United Way study, 38% of households in Connecticut, including 600 families in Ridgefield, are among the working poor and have difficulty affording basic needs, such as housing, child care, food, health care and transportation.  As the cold weather approaches, many face a hard choice: paying the heating bill or buying groceries.                                 

The Mission Committee of St. Stephen’s Church is trying to help address this situation with the opening of the Little Pantry, located at 351 Main St., just south of the church and along the driveway in front of South Hall.                            

“With most food pantries open limited hours during the day, including the Ridgefield Food Pantry, many of those in need have difficulty getting to them during working hours, ” according to Linda Hutchings, a member of the Mission Committee.  “The Little Pantry is open 24 hours a day in a safe place that affords privacy and where someone can come by and get food and other necessities. In addition to food we are stocking the pantry with items that cannot be purchased with food stamps (SNAP), such as toiletries, cleaning supplies and diapers.”  Ms. Hutchings, who got the idea for the Little Pantry from a Facebook post on a Little Lending Library, is Food Coordinator for the Connecticut Food Bank.              

The church welcomes donations of items for stocking the pantry, with a request for nothing in glass containers.  Donations should be left inside the entrance area of the church (known as the narthex) and placed inside a bin labeled “Little Pantry.”  It is open between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.                                                                                                               

“Establishing the Little Pantry represents an important step in one of the missions of St. Stephen’s - namely, the support of our neighbors who experience hunger,” said the Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector.  “We are grateful to the Mission Committee members, including Linda Hutchings and its chairman Georgia Carrington; to Dan Stasio, of Stasio Inc., who donated the pantry’s design and construction; and to Paul Fitzpatrick of Crossroads Signs, who donated its signage.   


Caption, left to right: Bill Murrell and Linda Hutchings of the St. Stephen’s Mission Committee; the Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector, and Dan Stasio, who built the Little Pantry. Missing are Paul Fitzpatrick, who donated the signage, and Paul Lyons who helped install it.                                             

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