Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Kitchen Is Now Open…

Foodshare's Communications Coordinator, Dyani, recently attended a Frog Hollow HAT meeting to have a peek at their new kitchen. Here is what she had to share from her experience:

As I walk past a large pile of snow, I look to my left, then my right. In front of me I see a sign that reads ‘HAT Meeting,’ leading me through a wooden door belonging to the Hartford-based, Hands On Hartford. This is my first time attending Foodshare’s Frog Hollow Hunger Action Team (HAT) meeting.

The main focus of the meeting was to present the newly furnished kitchen built in affiliation with the Kitchen to Pantry concept. This project was presented by Hands On Hartford’s Communications Manager, Kate Shafer, during the previous meeting back in December. This concept was born from an abundance of perfectly good, fresh produce that was at risk of going to waste in the community, and an overwhelming need for clients to have access to healthier food. Thanks to support from a Foodshare Partnership Grant, staff members at Hands on Hartford are now able to connect local residents in the Frog Hollow community with more and better options for fresh foods.

Ally Klindienst, Food Access Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA for Hands On Hartford, served as our tour guide for the evening. She walked myself and other attendees through the kitchen and pantry facility, explaining the day to day operation of both, which included preparing produce for distribution through the pantry. The facility runs on a biweekly schedule, with staff and volunteers sharing the workload. Volunteers visit Foodshare weekly to pick up fresh produce. Staff offer feedback on the produce and assist with distributing it to visitors.

Viewing the volume and variety of food available through the pantry, two words came to mind: healthy and accessible. It is clear that this is how the staff at Hands On Hartford want their clients to live and feel.

The tour ended with a sit-down discussion in the conference room, with each team member offering a recap of recent accomplishments.

Interested in Joining a Hunger Action Team? Contact Jim Palma or learn more online.


  1. We were so happy to host the Frog Hollow HAT meeting! We all find it very inspiring to share notes, ideas and information across the community, and know that we're helping to make a difference. Frog Hollow rocks! Thank you Foodshare for supporting our Kitchen-to-Pantry initiative and for organizing Hunger Action Teams across the area!

    1. We always enjoy working with individuals that are so passionate and dedicated to improving their community! Thank you Hands on Hartford and Frog Hollow for all that you do!