Five of Ledyard's churches are gearing up to help feed many of the region's hungry on Saturday and thanks to the Ledyard Police Union, they can plan to feed 1.000 more.
The union donated $250 to the food pantry, which was designated for the packaging event that will take place this Saturday at Ledyard Middle School. Volunteers will be lining up at 9 a.m. to pack up enriched and fortified meals of either macaroni and cheese or red beans and rice, each pouch makes enough food to feed six people.
"We could not think of a more deserving branch of government; one which makes sure families won't go hungry and which does so mostly through donations," said Ledyard Police Officer Dan Gagnon, the union's president. "When we operated our union fundraiser this spring the citizens of the town opened their wallets to us and now it's our turn to put that money to work."
Event planners are planning to package 58,000 meals Saturday but will accept volunteers and money donations through Saturday in order to package more.
St. Luke Lutheran Church, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, United Methodist Church of Gales Ferry, St. David's Episcopal Church and Ledyard Congregational Church are sponsoring the event.
The effort is supported by Outreach, which is a non-profit corporation with the mission "to provide safe water, food, medical care and education to children and those in need at home or abroad." The Kids Care packages are part of the organization's food program, which offers the ingredients and packaging components for 25 cents.
According to their website, 218,606,138 meals have been packaged since the company formed in 2004. Last spring, St. Luke's Lutheran Church packaged 21,965 meals in about five hours. They gave 4,000 of those meals to the Ledyard food pantry.
If you would like to donate money or time to the effort, contact Jessica Dodson at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. She said money and volunteers are welcome anytime and the event takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.