The school system is working with Meriden Stop & Shop to create a food pantry

MERIDEN — Along with renovating its Broad Street store, Stop & Shop recently helped the school system create a pantry.

“As COVID-19 impacted the community of Meriden like it has so many others, we realized that children were facing a food insecurity crisis of their own when schools closed,” said said Roberto Bonaparte, store manager of Broad Street Stop & Shop. “…We know how important it is to provide children with access to food to take home if they don’t know where their next meal will come from.”

Stop & Shop approached Meriden Public Schools about setting up a school pantry, and Washington Middle School was chosen as the location.

“Washington Middle School was selected…based on our space, resources and overall needs,” Principal Jessica Showerda said.

The Corner Store will be supplied via Stop & Shop via its Peapod delivery system.

“The students will provide us with a grocery list of items…then we will collect those items, prepare them and then distribute them to the students,” Showerda said.

Showerda said the Corner Store will carry products such as canned protein, dry pasta, rice, oatmeal and some toiletries.

“We also know that we have parents who are unemployed,” said Marissa Cardona, liaison with the family school. “We had to make decisions based on COVID cases and for the safety of their families, so we want to make it easier for them and provide students and parents with the necessities they might need, even if it’s just to make it out. a week or two.

Showerda said the Corner Store is a learning opportunity.

“We’re going to be asking our students at Washington Middle School for help with creative advertising, to help with budgeting, to help maintain inventory,” Showerda said. “It will also serve as a community service opportunity.”

Following the renovations, Stop & Shop has added more fresh produce, organic and local options and takeaway meal options to its Broad Street store.

“Our customers tell us all the time that they just want their life to be a little easier, and we hope all the changes you can see in our newly renovated store do just that,” Bonaparte said.

[email protected]: @jessica_simms99

Jeremy S. McLain