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Fairfield County's food banks in need

Published 12:58 pm, Monday, November 19, 2012

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  • A shelf of canned goods at Person-To-Person in Darien. Nov. 12, 2012. Photo: Megan Davis
    A shelf of canned goods at Person-To-Person in Darien. Nov. 12, 2012. Photo: Megan Davis

 

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As Hurricane Sandy pummeled Fairfield County in late October, it also left area food banks and pantries in dire need of supplies.

"It costs about $32 an hour to live here, and for the working poor that's very, very expensive," said Kate Lombardo, executive director of the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. "One item that's often overlooked in the household is food. They can't afford the right food in the proper portions."

The Stamford-based Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, which serves six communities including Darien, is an affiliated distribution center of the Connecticut Food Bank.

The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County works with about 80 area agencies and programs that provide approximately 2 million pounds of food a year to clients.

The food bank did f not to have lose any of its supply during Hurricane Sandy.

"We went out for about an hour but we have to prepare for issues like that," Lombardo said. "If one of our agencies loses its food, then we have to make up the difference."

Person-to-Person's Emergency Food Pantry in Darien lost $1,600 worth of meat and produce because of Hurricane Sandy, according to Janet King, director of volunteers at Person-to-Person. The pantry provides enough groceries for clients to prepare three meals a day.

"Our need is increased because a lot of our clients who have lost everything in their refrigerator can't afford to replace that food, so they come to us for food," King said.

P2P is in need of peanut butter and jelly, Parmalat milk, pasta, canned tuna, ready-to-eat soups and coffee. As for Thanksgiving specifics, potatoes, dried stuffing mix and canned vegetables are needed.

Person-to-Person serves about 200 families the fixings for Thanksgiving meals, King said.

"Families come here and pick up a turkey and get a bag of canned veggies, pumpkin pie mix. They get a foil pan. They do all the cooking themselves, it's actually really nice," she said.

Food can be dropped off at either Person-to-Person, 1864 Boston Post Road, Darien, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturday from 9 a.m. and noon. Person-to-Person recently merged with Christian Community Action of Norwalk, which also is seeking the same non-perishable items. They can be dropped off at 76 South Main St., Norwalk.

People can also bring non-perishable food to the annual Turkey Bowl at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day where both the Darien and New Canaan High School cheerleading teams are sponsoring a food drive.

"Our goal is to fill the Person-to-Person van," King said.

The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, 461 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, is open five days per week for donations. For information, call Lombardo at 203-358-8898.

mdavis@bcnnew.com; 203-972-4407; twitter.com/megdariennews