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A groundbreaking ceremony was conducted on October 26 for FAITH Food Pantry’s permanent building, which is under construction on St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church’s property at 46 Church Hill Road.
According to Merritt Construction, LLC, Owner Ben Gershel and Project Manager Greg Pierson, work on the property began a few weeks ago.
With the closing of St John’s Episcopal Church, FAITH lost its longtime location in September 2016. St Rose of Lima donated land on its property for the food pantry, as previously reported by The Newtown Bee. FAITH Food Pantry,temporarily housed at 31 Pecks Lane, is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization that works to provide one week of groceries to Newtown residents in need, once a month, according to its website, newtownfoodpantry.org.
A group of building project supporters and representatives gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony. First Selectman Pat Llodra and St Rose of Lima’s Monsignor Robert Weiss stood next to FAITH Food Pantry President Lee Paulsen as she placed her foot on a shovel to pose for a picture marking the event.
Later Mrs Paulsen learned from Mr Gershal that the building is generally expected to be completed by the end of April, with other details to be completed later.
“That is really happy news. Thank you,” Mrs Paulsen said.
Msgr Weiss and Mrs Paulsen also took a moment to stand within the space of what will be an office in the new building. Framework for the foundation outlined the building around them.
Msgr Weiss asked any residents interested in seeing the site to be respectful of parish and school schedules.
A ground blessing ceremony is being coordinated for November 20, when Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport, is expected to visit the site.
Mrs Paulsen reiterated a call for donations from the previous month. Ahead of preparations for the building project, FAITH hoped to reach all residents, businesses, and churches in the community with a townwide letter in September. The letter announced FAITH continues to rely on food donations, cash contributions, and volunteer workers. Both in the letter and at the groundbreaking ceremony, Ms Paulsen said, “No gift is too small.”
FAITH is still operating and accepting food and monetary donations at its Pecks Lane location on Tuesdays, from 10 am to noon, and Thursdays, from 6 to 7:30 pm.
Donations should not be dropped off outside of those hours at the Pecks Lane location. Instead, donations outside of FAITH hours can be brought to various locations around town during regular business hours, including the C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street, and The Newtown Bee’s office at 5 Church Hill Road.
Those able to help contribute to the building costs can send a tax-deductible donation to FAITH Food Pantry of Newtown, Inc, PO Box 53, Newtown CT 06470 (Checks made payable to FAITH Food Pantry of Newtown, Inc, for “food fund” or “building fund.”
Donations can also be made online by visiting newtownfoodpantry.org.
For more information about FAITH Food Pantry, call Lee Paulsen at 203-426-5604 or Jill LeBlanc at 203-837-0816.