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To The Editor:
Fairfield County boasts a median annual household income of more than $82,000, but nearly 9 percent of its residents are living below the poverty level.
Right here where we live, more than 1 in 10 families has struggled to find its next meal. The rate of food insecurity among children is even higher – at 1 in 6 – but because nearly 50 percent of these children are not likely to be income-eligible for Federal Nutrition Assistance, the impact is even greater.
According to a report issued by the Fairfield County Community Foundation (Hunger Lives Here), although “food insecurity” includes hunger, it is not limited to it. “Food insecurity” is a result of the many obstacles that people throughout Fairfield County face in order to feed themselves and their families.
Providing people with food to eat is still of critical importance.
There are several organizations and faith-based groups in this area that work to meet this need. One such organization is Person-to-Person (P2P), which operates Emergency Food Pantries in Darien (1864 Post Road) and Norwalk (76 S. Main St.).
Every week of the year, P2P provides more than 200 families with enough food to prepare three meals a day for seven days. During the summer months, when children who do qualify for free or reduced-priced meals are out of school, the need increases and it becomes even more important for P2P to keep the pantry shelves well-stocked.
One of the most important sources for donations is the annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive, which will be held Saturday, May 10.
On that day, postal patrons are asked to leave bags filled with non-perishable foods by the mailbox for pick-up by the letter carrier. Last year, more than 72,000 pounds of food was donated by our neighbors in Darien and Norwalk.
You may donate food to P2P at any time of the year – and I hope you will – but doing so during the NALC Food Drive on May 10 will not only be easy (there’s curbside pick-up!), it will also make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many.
No one in Fairfield County should have to be hungry.
With your help, people in your community won’t be.
Please donate a bag (or two) of nonperishable food on Saturday, May 10.
I also encourage you to visit www.p2phelps.org for more information about the services and programs provided by Person-to-Person at the Darien and Norwalk locations.
Senator Bob Duff