Darien residents are encouraged to leave a bag of groceries at their mailbox on Saturday morning, May 13.
With 9 percent of Fairfield County households living below the poverty level — and another 23 percent struggling to afford the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter — hunger and food insecurity is an issue for many of our neighbors.
Since 1992, Person-to-Person has been the designated recipient of grocery donations collected in Darien during the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.
Person-to-Person Darien Site Manager Aidan Wildes notes that the number of people living in poverty plus those who earn less than the basic cost of living in the communities we serve are significant — 16 percent of Darien households, 14 percent of New Canaan households and 35 percent of Stamford households.
“Each week, the Darien Food Pantry provides more than 65 families with enough food to prepare three meals a day for seven days.”
The selection of non-perishables and canned goods includes foods high in nutritional value, many of which are donated by members of the community. For this food drive, P2P is encouraging people to donate products that are low in sodium, saturated fats and other additives.
According to Wildes, this event is the largest food drive for Person-to-Person each year and requires a fair amount of preparation and coordination.
“Various volunteer groups have been stapling the suggested shopping list of non-perishable foods to the 6,000 grocery bags donated by Palmer’s Market. These bags will be delivered to all Darien postal customers.”
On the day of the event, volunteers will gather at P2P Darien to sort the donations and stock the pantry. It’s a day filled with common purpose and camaraderie. People of all ages join in, and children are welcome.
“We appreciate all the generosity, whether it’s the folks who leave a bag of groceries by the mailbox or the family that helps stock the shelves,” said Wildes, “because no one in Fairfield County should have to be hungry and donations to this Food Drive will help to ensure that people in our community won’t be.”
- If you want to volunteer to help sort the donations, email Aidan Wildes (aidanwildes@p2pHelps.org).
— The announcement above is from Person-to-Person. The organization also published a short article about the food drive in its emailed newsletter. What follows is a long excerpt from that article, with some interesting facts about the food drive, and a video from the National Letter Carriers Association.
[The food drive] helps keep the P2P Food Pantries stocked during the summer months. The success of this drive depends on the generosity of people in the community who donate non-perishables and canned goods.
Last year, Darien residents donated nearly 22,000 pounds of food. Residents of Norwalk and Wilton donated more than 59,000 pounds of food.
Letter Carriers will be delivering bags and suggested shopping lists to postal customers in Wilton (6,000) , Norwalk (24,500) and Darien (6,000).
No one in Fairfield County should have to be hungry and donations to this Food Drive will help ensure that people in our community won’t be.
Even if you don’t receive a grocery bag at your home, we hope that you will leave a bag of groceries at your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 13 or drop it off at the local Post Office in Darien, Norwalk or Wilton.