Mystic business owner, Brian Gates, started off 2021 on the right foot.
The founder of Bookwell Travel told NBC Connecticut he ran about 52 miles overnight, from Mystic to Griswold. At the end of his run, Bookwell Travel donated four pallets of food to the town.
"It is common people like us that lost their jobs during the pandemic and they can't eat," said Gates. "We all can do the part. We all can make a difference."
Gates said that the food donation is the equivalent of 10,000 meals. The donation will address any food insecurity concerns in town, helping to support the senior center and St. Mary's Food Pantry.
“We are seeing a lot of people worrying about the next meal, worrying about their children," said Tina Falck, director of the Griswold Senior Center.
Falck also coordinates social services for the town. She said that her team of three has been working throughout the pandemic to get people connected to whatever resources they need. They created a phone chain to help make it happen.
“It has really worked well in that way," said Falck.
The senior center has helped to connect families with more than 5,000 meals since March. Falck said that they have seen generous support to meet the high demand.
Kathy Avery, administrator for St. Mary's Food Pantry in town, agrees.
“Unbelievably generous," said Avery. "It has just been totally amazing.”
Avery said that the food pantry has seen 50% more families than this time last year.
They say the food donation is a big help.
“This is truly a godsend, which we appreciate very much," said Avery.
The food will be stored at Old Pachaug Town Hall. When a need arises, the food will be available.
“It is going to be a long, hard winter. We still have a long way to go," said Falck. “This, just helps us know that we are going to be okay. We can continue on with this.”