LITCHFIELD — The power went out on a Thursday several weeks ago just as people were lining up to get food from the Litchfield Community Food Bank, which is housed at the Litchfield Community Christian Church on Hallowell Road.

Within seconds, a generator started humming and the electricity returned.

“That’s the new generator that just came on, and because of that we’re going to be able to open on time,” Rayna Leibowitz, a food bank director, told those waiting.

She got applause in response.

“They were delighted,” Leibowitz said.

The drive to raise $10,000 to buy and install a propane-powered generator large enough to run all the refrigerators, freezers, heating system, water and electricity began in April 2011 under Leibowitz’s mother, Muriel Bonin, food bank director.

It was planned as a two-year campaign to ensure that a power failure would not could cost the volunteer agency its cold and frozen food. U.S Department of Agriculture rules say the food must be discarded if temperatures inside refrigerators and freezers exceed certain standards.

Bonin, a longtime community leader, died in early September and her family invited people to make donations in her memory to the generator fund.

“The money came in day after day after day,” Leibowitz recalled on Saturday. “In seven months we had the money, bought it and installed it. We really have to recognize that the contributions that were made in mom’s memory were a huge, significant portion.”

Donors who could be identified — many sent cash — received a handwritten thank-you from Leibowitz, who is also a selectman.

The food bank is open noon to 2 every Thursday. Founded almost 17 years ago, the food bank provides an average of 105 pantry boxes a month, and clients range from single individuals to seven-member families, according to Liebowitz said.

Anyone coming to the food bank is offered a crock-pot lunch as well as a chance to join a prayer circle.

The community food bank is supported by local churches and civic organizations.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

 


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