By Kerensa Konesni September 29,2018
Just ahead of the holiday season, the Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG) has announced it will change and expand hours at its food pantry to better assist working families in the towns of Thompson, Woodstock and Pomfret.
“It’s something we had been toying with for a while, but weren’t completely sure how exactly to do it,” TEEG Community Outreach Coordinator Jason Bleau said.
On Oct. 8, TEEG will begin offering a new evening food pantry distribution day in a two-hour block from 4-6 p.m. Existing food pantry hours — from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, and Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 1:30-3:30 p.m — will remain in place.
The reason for the change? It all comes back to a single question, Bleau said: how can we better help our clients?
Many of the 250-300 households who rely on TEEG monthly are, in social services lingo, “ALICE” families — Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.
“That’s the middle class, the people that have a job and provide for themselves, but they can’t quite provide as much as they need to,” Bleau said.
Single parents. Large families. Two-income households that can’t quite keep up with their monthly expenses, despite best efforts made.
Not all of those clients can make it to the food pantry during the morning and afternoon hours that the agency offers, especially those working the traditional 9 to 5.
Continue reading: Norwich Bulletin