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Darien Community Helps To Stamp Out Hunger

The first load of donated food arrives at P2P Darien. Photo Credit: Contributed
The many bags of donated foodthat were ready for sorting. Photo Credit: Contributed
Volunteers checking expiration dates and sorting food. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. --  The people of Darien helped to stamp out hunger on Saturday, May 9, as volunteers at Person-to-Person set up tables and organized crates for donations of food.

Throughout the morning and into the late afternoon, grocery bags filled with donated food were delivered to P2P. The bags arrived in multiple waves of postal trucks and private vehicles assigned to specific neighborhoods.

The original pickup truck made many more drop-offs before the day was over. By the end of the day, more than 20,000 pounds of food – from canned soup and canned vegetables to oatmeal and pasta – had been stocked into the Food Pantry at P2P Darien.

According to community volunteer Jane Yezzi and Kim Collibee, a P2P staffer, the day was a success across all measures. Yezzi highlights the 100 community volunteers who turned out to help.

“We had people signed up for shifts throughout the day,” said Yezzi. “Some drove around Darien and collected grocery bags. Others were stationed at P2P, where they unloaded and unpacked bags, checked expiration dates and sorted the food. And then there was the team in the Food Pantry that stocked the shelves and stacked the crates in the attic storeroom.”

To keep people going, members of the Ivanhoe Lodge No. 107 of the Masonic Fraternity kept everyone well-fed with food that they not only donated, but also prepared.

“The enormous generosity of the Darien community cannot be overstated,” said Collibee. “We received food donations valued at over $40,000.” According to her, the current stock of non-perishable food should last about two months.

“There’s a higher demand for food during the summer months. Children who would otherwise receive free or reduced meals in school are home and eating three meals a day.”

Yezzi says it was a day filled with common purpose and good cheer. “On behalf of all the individuals and families who will benefit from this effort, we thank the people of Darien – those who donated and those who volunteered – for their generosity.”

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