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St. James' Glastonbury
Episcopal Church

Annual Report 2022

Glastonbury Links Together Report

Members of the St James' Faith in Action group have been part of developing and participating in the Glastonbury Links together group. Glastonbury Links Together exists to build community from the ground up so that various socio-economic, faith, service, business groups and town organizations experience a robust sense of shared purpose. Glastonbury Links Together is an interfaith grass roots organization developed as the non-profit arm to subsidize the new self-serve Glastonbury food bank and elementary school weekend backpack program.

Glastonbury Links Together was developed in 2020 by 4 area Clergy to address the rise in food insecurity in Glastonbury during the pandemic. The group has grown into a collaboration between Glastonbury’s faith based and service organizations, including Glastonbury Social Services, Glastonbury Public Schools, and other charitable groups.

1. The first year we handed out over 500 bags of food collected and filled by and for our community.

2. Because the pandemic guidelines limited food collections, we supplied gift cards to the Glastonbury Public Schools and to residents in need through Glastonbury Social Services department at the Riverfront Community Center. Together with our neighbors at Shop Rite, Glastonbury Links Together provided almost $90,000.00 worth of grocery store gift cards to families in Glastonbury.

3. We expanded the elementary school ‘Backpack program’ to include all Glastonbury elementary schools. Volunteer groups take turns packing and delivering discrete bags of food to eligible students on Fridays for the children to eat over the weekend.

4. We began planning toward our goal of opening a self-select food pantry at the Riverfront Community Center. The Town of Glastonbury renovated a room in the Riverfront Community Center and The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has provided grants from the Sestero Fund to order equipment and supplies to provide a food distribution area where residents will be able to select their own nonperishable goods.

Glastonbury Links Together is proud to announce that together with the Town of Glastonbury Social Services department/Glastonbury Gives, the Glastonbury self-service Food Bank will be opening soon.

Our dream in 2023 will be to provide perishable or nonperishable food items for the new Food Bank and Backpack Program.

Submitted by Nancy Connell