Online wish list ‘a game changer’ for Trumbull Food Pantry

TRUMBULL — It all started with some pictures of nearly empty shelves.

A few weeks ago, the Trumbull Food Pantry posted a plea for donations on its Facebook page, which was accompanied by photos of nearly barren shelves.

“We're out of everything again and people are gearing up for school days coming up,” the post read.

Michele Jakab, Trumbull’s human services director, said she knew the post would spur donations. “We’re lucky enough to get donations from community and, whenever we ask, they show up for us,” she said.

But one thing she didn’t anticipate was how a little technology could make a big difference.

Shortly after the call for donations went out, some community members made a wish list for the pantry on Amazon. The wish list includes multiple items — such as pasta, sauce, rice, laundry detergent and various canned goods — that people can order off Amazon and have sent directly to the pantry.

Jakab said she’s heard of some other food pantries in the area having wish lists, but, to her knowledge, this is the first time the Trumbull Food Pantry has had one. It’s made a tremendous difference to both the volume and speed with which the pantry has been receiving donations, she said.

“It is a game changer, the way deliveries have been coming in,” she said, adding that new products arrive daily. “It saves everybody time. We get the items we need and clients get items they need.”

Several organizations in town have also set up food drives or other events to benefit the food pantry. For instance, the Trumbull Community Women are sponsoring a drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Trumbull Stop & Shop, 100 Quality St. The organization Trumbull Helps is hosting a Touch-A-Truck food drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Crown Pizza, 5663 Main St.

Even with the help of generous donors, Jakab said need in the area remains high, and not just for those who are receiving other forms of assistance.

“We’re not just seeing individuals on state assistance programs,” she said. “We are seeing people who are having a tough time, but don’t qualify for assistance.”

Jakab added that the pantry will soon start gearing up for its holiday season and is looking for donations of gift cards to area grocery stores, such as Target and Stop & Shop. For more information, visit the Trumbull Food Pantry web site, The pantry’s Amazon Wish List is at