Sammy Hagar donates to the Ledyard Food Pantry

Sammy Hagar makes a habit of donating to a food bank in every city he plays.  Ledyard was the recipient of his generosity last night when the Red Rocker himself appeared at Foxwoods Resort Casino and donated $2500 to the Ledyard Food Pantry. Food Pantry supervisor, Carol Gauthier accepted the check along with Mayor Fred Allyn and myself. An amount that large is is a significant gift for a pantry our size and his generosity will go far. Thank you Sammy for helping to feed our neighbors in need.

sammy hagar

Talking Trash in Ledyard

Trash is a frequent topic on the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook. For some unknown reason, some residents have developed the irritating habit of putting their bulky waste* out to the curb and expecting it to magically disappear. It doesn’t happen by magic but it only takes a simple phone call.

In the course of the debate on the topic, it appears that at least some residents believe it should be the role of government  to dispose of their bulky waste.  It would be unaffordable for most small towns to provide that service year round to all residents. That being said,  Ledyard does more than most towns in the area and provides two FREE bulky waste pick-ups a year. But you have to call to make that happen. The telephone number for arranging bulky waste collection is 800-286-5335. Residents may also use the Transfer Station (Colonel Ledyard Highway) for bulky and special waste disposal.

Ledyard Town Hall has been diligent of late to try to educate its residents on the services it provides to eliminate bulky waste. In fact, they provide a page of information on the subject along with a general page on trash and recycling.  When I see bulky waste sitting in a location for over a few weeks, I assume that the residents don’t know they need to call for a pick up.  I fill out the online form and the residents will receive a letter from the town with the information they need to make the call for pick up. Please don’t interpret this as “reporting neighbors” or trying to get people in trouble.  The more people who know about this FREE service, the better for the community!

*Bulky waste or bulky refuse is a technical term taken from waste management to describe waste types that are too large to be accepted by the regular waste collection. – Wikipedia

Ledyard Christmas in July

Thank you to the Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry for their generosity at our first annual Christmas in July event. At this time of year when inventory is at its lowest, you filled our shelves and touched our hearts. Special thanks to Santa who came down from the cold North Pole to bring donations in the heat of summer and meet a number of children. Click Here to become  a Friend of the Ledyard Food Pantry.


Ledyard's Christmas in July

It's that time of year when donations to the Ledyard Food Pantry from the big holiday food drives are dwindling. Fortunately we can rely on donations from the Gemma Moran Food Bank plus funds from the Ledyard Social Services donation account to keep the pantry stocked with basic food items. Area churches and local groups plus generous residents help keep the pantry stocked. However, we know from last year that mid summer is when supplies start running low. Today any excess in our storage room consists mostly of pasta, beans and canned items.

Last holiday season several donors commented how they need to remember to donate year round and not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry thought we could make it easier for them to donate by holding a Christmas in July event on July 23rd from noon to 3PM right at the pantry location at 724 Colonel Ledyard Highway across from Valentino’s.  There will be refreshments, entertainment and even a visit from Santa.

How can you help?  Sign up to donate our most needed items and bring them to the pantry on the day of the event or feel free to drop them off anytime at the pantry on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday mornings from 9-11am or Thursday from 5-7pm.

Christmas in July

Ledyard Food Pantry Mini Food Drive

Pantry Easter Mini DriveMini Food Drive: The Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry are holding a mini drive specifically for Easter Donations over the next two weeks. Hams, including canned hams of any size, would be very welcome by our guests. We also know some families would enjoy treats for their Easter baskets. Feel free to leave your donations in the pantry or in the boxes at Holdridge Farm Nursery, Village Market, Holmberg Orchards or the hallway at Gales Ferry Landing. Hams that need refrigerated should be brought to the Ledyard Food Pantry in Ledyard Center. The pantry is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-11AM and Thursday evening 5–7PM. As always, thank you for your generosity!

P.S  The annual Postal Carriers “Stamp out hunger” food drive is scheduled for Saturday May 13th.  Watch for an announcement in your mailbox. This is another great example of neighbors helping neighbors. All the food collected by our postal carriers is delivered to the Ledyard Food Pantry.

Ledyard Photo Friday - Food Pantry

Now opened for over a year, the Ledyard Food Pantry receives generous food donations from our residents on an almost daily basis.  What you might not know is that the pantry also collects travel/hotel sized toiletries to be used in gift bags for our guests. Today we received a fun donation from resident Sarah Monroe who donated her Disney collection of hotel toiletries.

The Ledyard Food Pantry will happily accept your hotel or travel samples. Feel free to leave yours in a plastic bag in the boxes at Holdridge Farm Nursery, Village Market, Holmberg Orchards or the hallway at Gales Ferry Landing. Or at the Ledyard Food Pantry in Ledyard Center which is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-11AM and Thursday evening 5–7PM.

Food Pantry - Sarah Monroe

Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry

It has been almost 3 months since the Ledyard Food Pantry was filled to the rafters with donations from our holiday food drives. The pantry is now very low or out of the items on our wish list below.  Please help if you can. Feel free to leave your donations in the boxes at Holdridge Farm Nursery, Village Market, Holmberg Orchards or the hallway at Gales Ferry Landing.  Or at the Ledyard Food Pantry in Ledyard Center which is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-11AM and Thursday evening 5–7PM. If you prefer to shop online, we have made it convenient with our Amazon Wish List.

Ledyard Food Pantry Wish List.docx

Top Ten News Stories in Ledyard in 2016

Food Pantry ledyardJanuary is the month for lists.  In the past, the local newspaper published a list of the top stories of the year in each of the area towns. It was something I always looked forward to reading but sadly that tradition has ended so I feel obligated,  with a little help from my friends,  to create my own list. The Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook helped  with plenty of suggestions so coming up with top stories was fairly easy. Deciding which made the cut and then putting them in numerical order was the difficult part. I’m sure depending where you sit, some of the choices would be different.

In 2016 weather events didn’t make the top ten. No hurricanes, no major blizzards , no earthquakes and no lizards. May 2017 bring more of the same.

#10  We wish it had been a Trader Joe’s but Dollar Tree opened in the Ocean State Job Lot Plaza in a spot that seems to have been empty for a lifetime. Although the parking lot is still ugly, it sure did improve the over all appearance of the place.  Now if they would just take care of the huge McCrater, at the traffic light exit. I’m hoping that in 2017 we will see some improvement at Cartway  as even the mere mention of the name  creates a firestorm on Facebook.

#9  The Ledyard Food Pantry celebrated the one year anniversary of its new location at the Ledyard Congregational Church. During 2016, the number of visits to the pantry tripled proving at least to me that the private sector often does a better job of  government.

#8  The Ledyard Community Forum reaches 4000 members. Actually that didn’t happen until a week into January but membership rapidly increased through 2016. I would never imagined when I created the group in 2011 that it would grow as large as it is.

#7  Gales Ferry gets a Christmas Tree and Facebook Forum Headquarters.  I've always thought it would be nice to have a community Christmas Tree in Gales Ferry/Ledyard. Well thanks to a whole lot of people, it  happened. Former Mayor John Rodolico found the tree which was donated by Alan Habbe. Glenn McKenzie created an in ground stand for it. The Hirschfeld's volunteered to pick up the 16ft tree and transport it. The tree was transported on time to Ledyard Community Forum Headquarters at the corner of RT 12 and Military Highway owned by Merry Cassabria. Brouwers Tree Service volunteered their cherry picker for the lights.  Residents donated cookies and lights and decorations and all around help. Barry Watrous helped direct and took some great photos. Steve Holyfield captured the official nighttime photo. How cool is #8?!


Gales Ferry Christmas Tree Point



#6 Ledyard gets a cool new Superintendent of Schools. Jason Hartling was selected in August as the new Superintendent of Schools. I like his views on budgeting,  transparency and communication. He’s even on Twitter. That’s cool.  I’d call him the Great Communicator but I reserve that title for President Ronald Reagan. 

#5 Gypsy Moths invade Ledyard.  Ledyard was overrun by the nasty critters but those in Gales Ferry were hardly affected and may be in for a rude awakening. I’d recommend we all pray for a wet spring because the state seems clueless about how to handle the issue. There is a Town of Ledyard Gypsy Moth Committee that has been formed to consider aerial spraying. Visit and select Gypsy Moth ad hoc committee for meeting group for meeting dates, agendas and minutes.

#4 Ledyard Trunk or Treat becomes YUGE.  49 Vehicles were decorated and 1600 people walked the grounds including 900 little ones. Merry and I passed out cotton candy.  Can you say sticky?

Ledyard Trunk or Treat photo

#3 Speaking of YUGE, as a political junkie, 2016 couldn’t have been more interesting to watch. If someone would have told me a year ago that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would win the Ledyard Primaries each with about 53 of the vote, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I wasn’t surprised at all to see Trump go on to win in Ledyard in November. The lack of Clinton signs and local enthusiasm seemed to be a good indicator.

#2 Ledyard gets a new Police Station. Although the voters approved a new police station in May of 2013, it took over 3 years to complete due to site work issues. I think the location next to Town Hall made it worth the wait especially combined with the improvements in the Ledyard Town Center. In 2016, Ledyard Swore in its first ever Police Chief, John Rich as Ledyard moved to an Independent Police Department.

#1 Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Ledyard is an extremely generous community. Although I often worry about “donor fatigue”,  Ledyard never stops giving whether it is for Food Baskets, Stuff a Cruiser, the Santa Drive,  or our First Annual Comfort and Joy Event gathering warm accessories for our neighbors in need. The Boy Scouts collected over 7000 food items during their annual Scouting for Food Drive and the Cub Scouts were there to help then and though out the year as were our firefighters, Parks and Recs Department and many other groups throughout Town.  Thank you.

Each of you who contributed in some way is #1.



Providing Comfort and Joy in Ledyard

Last week, Jessica Wrobel, her awesome husband Alan and I, on behalf of the Ledyard Forum and Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry delivered the last of the 21 baskets to those in our community that needed a little extra help this Christmas. Thanks to members of the forum we were able to distribute a Turkey or Ham with all the fixins plus lots of little extra's. Bev Nachtwey and her sisters baked all week to provide home made goodies for each of our baskets. And although we called them baskets, each "basket" runneth over into bags and boxes. They were distributed to our neighbors that members of the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook suggested who are not eligible to be helped by social services. Thank YOU!

In addition, we finished the distribution of hats, scarves, gloves and socks.Thank you again to all those that knitted including the Senior Center and the Gales Ferry Library Stich and Dish Knitting Group who showed off their talents with their beautiful donations.

Over 100 members of the Ledyard Forum contributed items of food, gift cards, and warm accessories that offered Comfort and Joy to members of our community.

I hope you never get tired of us thanking you for your contributions. We are very proud of our community.

Giving Comfort and Joy in Ledyard

The Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry would like to thank all of you for your very generous donations to our "Comfort and Joy" event which collected hats, gloves, scarves and gloves. Donors came in all shapes and sizes. Thank you to the Ledyard Seniors and to the Gales Ferry Library Stich and Dish Knitting Group who showed off their talents with their beautiful donations. Over 50 attended the event and brought comfort and joy to those in our community that can use our help.

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