Pomfret pg 2 6-10-21

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Community Market
TEEG employees Cathy Smith, Haylee Olson, Jenni Fountain, Chelsea French, Executive Director Anne Miller, Allison Rich and Pomfret Community Market volunteers Marilyn Mancini and Jan St.Jean. Courtesy photo.

Market reopens
POMFRET – The Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG) and the town of Pomfret celebrated the grand reopening of the Pomfret Community Market June 1 adding a new satellite location to TEEG’s food security programs.
Plans for the Pomfret Community Market began in February of 2021 when longtime volunteer Garry Brown decided to retire after 13 years of operating a food pantry in the basement of the Pomfret Senior Center. Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson reached out to TEEG, a social service agency serving Pomfret, Thompson and Woodstock, to keep the pantry in operation. Over the next few months TEEG remodeled the pantry into the new Community Market, a name that is also being adopted by TEEG’s primary pantry at the agency’s Thatcher Road campus in N. Grosvenordale.
“We are moving to a community market because this is a place where our neighbors can get what they need, and we can share with our neighbors some of our additional items and resources,” said TEEG Executive Director Anne Miller.
The Pomfret Community Market is an addition to TEEG’s growing food security program.
TEEG also began a mobile pantry at the Woodstock Town Hall during the pandemic serving clients on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month.
Together these programs offer completely cost-free food security services in all three towns served by the agency including access to dairy, meat, protein, fresh and frozen produce, hygiene products and more.
Chelsea French, TEEG’s Community Development coordinator, said the new format adopted by TEEG is called “S.W.A.P” which stands for "Supporting Wellness at Pantries".
She said: "That's why we changed our name to a community market. We want to break the stigma behind the term ‘food pantry’. We want to make healthy options available to everyone."
The grand opening ceremony also included comments from Pomfret town officials. Selectman Ellsworth Chase presented a donation to the community market from he and his wife and First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson offered remarks thanking TEEG for their effort to bring new life to the market.
“When I got the call from Garry that he was ready to retire I was really concerned because it was a bad time not to have a food pantry in town,” Nicholson said. “I’m so impressed with the vision that (TEEG) had to redo our basement that we’ve been working out for years, to reintroduce the food pantry and to come up with the community market. It’s a very exciting thing. The new options and better choices for our residents from Pomfret and other communities is really exciting.”
Those seeking assistance at either of TEEG’s community markets in Pomfret or Thompson can call 860-923-3458 to schedule an appointment.


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