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Weather related closures:  Master’s Manna is closed when Wallingford Public Schools are closed

Donations of seasonal clothing (only) is being accepted at the South Cherry Street facility.  

Details of our clothing and light housewares program can be found in the “Our Programs” section of the website.

Board of Directors & Executive Director

  Bill Pursell: Board Chairperson

One of the goals instilled in me by my parents and community, was to leave this place in a better condition than you found it. My involvement with Master’s Manna is a small attempt to reach for that mark. The mission at Master’s Manna is to alleviate food insecurity from the list of monthly issues that people face. Fortunately, we live in a land of plenty, so our daily task is to reclaim the excess and quickly turn it around  to those in need. The fundamental belief at Master’s Manna can be summed up straightforwardly by stating, “Food is not an option.”

 

Board Ian Brooks

Ian Brooks: Board Vice Chairperson

Ian was raised in the United Kingdom and came to the USA in 1978 after serving as a residential Social Worker in Edinburgh. With his wife, Beth, they are both very active in Wallingford, North Haven and New Haven helping residents access the basic needs of daily life.

Working in semi-retirement, with all three children launched in their lives and careers, Ian presently serves on the Boards of Master’s Manna, Inc., Community Mediation and the local Toastmasters chapter. He particularly enjoys making connections between people and organizations that are mutually beneficial.

Upon his first visit to Master’s Manna, Ian was cautioned that “when you enter the third time you are addicted”.  That first visit occurred in 2013.  Ian possesses a natural ability to speak with people, make them feel comfortable and deduce where they may volunteer.  Ian likes to see accomplishments.

 

Elizabeth “Liz” Gagliardi: Board Treasurer

Liz was born and raised in Wallingford and educated in local schools.  She and her husband, Jim, chose to raise their family, a daughter and two sons, in Wallingford as well.  Liz holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing with 35 years of experience in local hospitals and currently serving as a substitute school nurse for the Wallingford Board of Education.

After obtaining certification from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference in Track and Field, Liz coached middle and distance runners at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School, Sacred Heart Academy and Mark T Sheehan High School for a total of 18 years. Liz presently serves on the Board of the Wallingford Historical Society.

Liz looks forward to bringing ideas to Master’s Manna, Inc., after being closely involved with Gaylord’s non-profit EBG Fund for MS.  After learning about Master’s Manna through a friend, Liz toured the facility and thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to be in service with and for such a remarkable Community of people.

 

Board Gail_Powell

Gail Powell:  Board Director of Administrative Services 

As an active member of the Yalesville United Methodist Church, one of Master’s Manna’s first partners, Gail had long  been acquainted with both the needs and accomplishments at Master’s Manna. She witnessed its “growth” from a church basement on Parker Farms Road in Wallingford to its present location.

In most cases, growth of an entity is a good thing.  However, in this case, Gail perceived this growth trend at Master’s Manna as a disturbing indicator that many in our community are unable to attain basic human needs and struggle with food insecurity.

We are told “to love our neighbor – as ourselves.”  The great commandment provided the motivation for Gail to accept an invitation to join the Board of Directors. The Mission Statement of Master’s Manna is in synergy with Gail’s core belief that every person has (not only) an inherent ability – but also the responsibility – to make a difference.

We abide in community specially purposed to help and encourage one another. At Master’s Manna, Board Members, Staff, Volunteers and the community of donors endeavor to improve the quality of life for those in need by “Building a Stronger Community ~ Together.”

 

Ray Demers: Board Secretary

Ray has been a lifelong volunteer working with many organizations to give back to the community. He was first exposed to the essential services that Master’s Manna provides when he was a Boy Scout leader and brought Scouts in to volunteer. When Ray retired in 2015, it was the first place he thought of to volunteer.

Ray has found volunteering at Master’s Manna to be a very rewarding and an amazing experience. He learned that helping alleviate food insecurity for families is not the only service we provide. Giving a friendly smile and partaking in small talk may help someone make it through the day.

Ray has great respect for the Volunteers, Staff, and Board members at Master’s Manna. The Master’s Manna team really cares about the communities and families we serve, treats everyone with respect, and provides additional support whenever possible.

Ray will continue his service as a volunteer in the food pantry. He also looks forward to his new role as a Board Member to help build upon the essential services that Master’s Manna has provided to the community.

 

JeannetteBronsord photo

Jeannette Bronsord: Board Director & Past Chairperson

Jeannette Bronsord, Director of Surgical Services, Yale New Haven Hospital followed Master’s Manna for several years as the organization grew to meet an increasing need for services in Wallingford, Meriden and surrounding areas.  As a lifelong resident of Meriden and Wallingford, becoming a member of the Board of Directors at Master’s Manna provided an opportunity to contribute to the community in a meaningful way. Jeannette states, “The philosophy for providing services such as food, clothing, and meals with respect, preserving the dignity of persons served is consistent with my own personal values. I believe this experience will enrich me as a leader and most importantly as a person.”

 

Board William Barnes

William Barnes: Board Director & Historian/Newsletter Editor

William “Bill” Barnes was introduced to Master’s Manna after reading an article in the paper about a new food pantry in Wallingford. Like many people he did not realize there was a need in this town for such a service, and quickly learned differently.

“Food is a basic necessity for life, and I am thankful to be able to help feed people in need. In my involvement with Master’s Manna, I have received far more than I have given by knowing that people are being helped” states Bill.   Bill has been involved with Master’s Manna since 2007.

Bill is a hometown person who grew up in Wallingford, is married to his wife, Kathy, and works for Spectra Energy.

        

Robert McKenzie: Board Director

Over many years, I have been actively involved in several business and community organizations.   After a friend told me about Master’s Manna, I stopped in, received a tour and decided this was a non-profit where I could volunteer effectively.  I strongly believe in the mission at Master Manna. After visiting a Board Meeting, I was pleased to join the Master’s Manna Board of Directors. The vast amount of Marketing experience gained from my work and other volunteer activities can help me to make a positive impact as a Director.  My experience and love of interacting with people will help to provide some of the basic needs of the organization. I believe I can help Master’s Manna grow develop a network of support.

Ryan Parent: Board Director

Ryan was born and raised in West Springfield Massachusetts and moved to Wallingford after graduating from Quinnipiac University in 2012. Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner at Beers, Hamerman, Cohen, & Burger, a mid-sized accounting firm in New Haven, and Fairfield, CT focused on serving small businesses and community not-for-profit organizations. Ryan specializes in providing audit and accounting services to his clients.

Ryan serves as a board member and Supervisory Committee member for the New Haven County Credit Union and is the finance committee co-chair for ManufactureCT, a non-profit organization supporting manufacturers in the Greater New Haven Area.

The opportunity to join the board of directors of Master’s Manna is a sort of full circle experience for Ryan. As he sought out opportunities to give back to the community, Master’s Manna hit close to home. In 2010 and 2011, as a junior and senior at Quinnipiac, Ryan volunteered at Master’s Manna in its previous location on North Plains Industrial Road. That experience stuck with him over the years. Since then, Master’s Manna has held a special place in his life.

He is excited to contribute to the essential service Master’s Manna provides to the greater Wallingford community, and hopes to provide ideas, insights, and good governance as the organization continues to grow.

 

Sarah Santone: Board Director

Sarah finds the incredible plethora of services offered at Master’s Manna truly helps the community. She appreciates that Master’s Manna offers extensive services and support to people at a time in their lives when locating resources can be extremely challenging and scary to navigate.  Sarah has always found it extremely rewarding to work with people because she learns so much from the involvement.

As a Board Director, Sarah brings her experience and knowledge of both policy writing and fundraising to Master’s Manna, Inc. Sarah is passionate about her ability to utilize her knowledge and experience to give back to others in the community. 

 

Linda Craig: Board Director

Linda Craig currently owns and operates Always Best Care Senior Services of Wallingford. The agency  provides senior home care services to the communities of the greater New Haven area. Linda’s past experience in management and leadership in the medical arena coupled with her knowledge of the local community allows her to provide exceptional care to Wallingford and the surrounding areas.

Linda and her family have lived in Wallingford for over 36 years.  She earned her MBA in Marketing from the University of West Haven, West Haven, Ct and her bachelor’s from Drew University, Madison, NJ in Biology and Chemistry.  She has spent her life ultimately helping the “patient” in a career in pharmaceuticals, specializing in the field of oncology.  She has worked for powerhouse biotech and pharmaceutical companies such as Astra Zeneca, Amgen, Inc., Novartis, Eli Lilly and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.  Most recently, Linda held the position of Regional Manager of Business Development for LabCorp’s oncology medical diagnostics arm guiding a team to offer molecular diagnostic tests to help oncology patients in the New England area.

She prides herself on offering the best care for the client.  Whether in pharmaceuticals, laboratory management or home care, it is always about delivering the right drug, test or care, at the right time to the client.  Opening Always Best Care has allowed me to continue my passion to offer the best care to seniors and those that need it most.

Linda has grown her company franchise significantly within the last six years. The need is paramount.  Seniors (80-100 years old) want to stay at home.  That is their castle.  They have also guided our generation into the 21st Century.  It is only fitting that we help those that need the care now.  We are just starting to provide care to the baby boomer population.  I feel honored to be able to help the community in that regard!

Linda is married and has two grown children, Christina, and Thomas, of whom she is so proud of.  She also enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking, camping and crafts.

 

Nancy Stockman: Executive Director                                           

Nancy Stockman joined Master’s Manna in November 2023 after serving as the Food Pantry Coordinator for the Town of West Hartford for 8 years.  Nancy received a B.S. in Business Administration from Villanova University and also has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Nancy feels strongly that “no one should go hungry” and she enjoys connecting with clients, donors, staff and volunteers while assisting members of the community.

 

 

BillPappasBill Pappas: Director Emeritus in Memoria

Bill Pappas was the President and CEO of Fosdick Fulfillment. Bill was well acquainted with the non-profit world of the greater Wallingford Meriden area having served on several non-profit boards. Building collaborative partnerships was one of Bill’s strengths. When Bill was first introduced to Master’s Manna, he stated,  “Master’s Manna is the best kept secret in Wallingford”.  Along with an understanding of and commitment to the mission of Master’s Manna Bill brought a willingness and know-how to “leak the secret” and poise this organization for continued growth and success.  Bill’s passion and personal belief was that “Food is not an option.” 

Master’s Manna, Inc., saddened by the loss of his presence, sage advice and guidance,  will continue to emulate his commitment to the end of food insecurity.  Bill Pappas’s life was a bright light in the world and a gift to Master’s Manna.  Bill also supported several other non-profits, to which he held a lasting commitment.  The Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers agree to perpetually keep the memory of Bill’s passion alive in every way possible at Master’s Manna, Inc.  This was accomplished by naming the Food Pantry at Master’s Manna in honor of Bill and his family – all supporters in the effort to eliminate food insecurity.  The Food Pantry now proudly bears the name:            Pappas Family Food Pantry.