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Food Pantry Hustles To Keep Up

What began as a room at Northfield Church slowly grew into the Community Food Pantry (CFP), a nonprofit that provides food and household supplies for Weston residents in need. As public assistance has suffered as a result of local budget cuts, private groups such as the Food Pantry try to take up the slack.

Betsy Peyreigne, president of the CFP, has been involved with the food pantry for the past decade. She said at least 100 families in the area rely on the organization for a variety of household items.

"We try to keep in stock hygiene and cleaning supplies, things that can't be purchased with food stamps," Peyreigne said. "We're always looking for [those types of donations]. We also try to keep pet food stocked. We don't want anybody to have to get rid of their pet. It's a real source of comfort for people, especially when things are bad."

Peyreigne estimated that in years past fewer than 20 Weston families needed the help, but that as the economy slumped demand has risen, as has the need for donations.

"I wouldn't say we're struggling for donations," she said. "We have some steady support. The schools are fabulous."

Peyreigne said food drives held by Weston schools take care of a large portion of the need. "Without the generosity of the people around here, we would not be able to operate."

She said the schools' involvement was crucial to ensuring that future generations continue her work. "I want kids to be involved because they're the ones who are going to be doing this for the next generation. I hope the next generation finds this [kind of work] is important as well."

For more information about the Community Food Pantry, e-mail Peyreigne or call her at (203) 557-3192.

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