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Norwalk Man Works To Feed the Hungry

Lewis Avrick serves dinner to more than 140 people every Tuesday and Thursday. It warms the native Norwalk resident's heart to do it, but he would prefer to see that number shrink.

Avrick donates his time to the Open Door Shelter , a food and housing shelter program for the homeless that is in its 26th year. “I’m finding more and more people coming to the shelter because they just can’t find work,” said Avrick.

He understands the trials and tribulations of the unemployed and economically distressed. In 2007, Avrick closed the doors on his family's business, Avrick Furniture, after 72 years in Norwalk. He’s been looking for work ever since, as have many of his 21 former employees. “A lot of these homeless people used to work for me. That’s another reason to work at the shelter,” said Avrick.

By his observations, the regional economy is not yet recovering. He said the number of meals he serves is rising. This winter, with record storms, even more people are seeking help and a warm meal. “It’s always nice to make sure these people get fed a hot meal. I think that is the most important thing we do. Because with a hot meal in their body, it makes them want to get out and look for a job and get out of the shelter,” said Avrick.

Philanthropic people are out there, and Avrick is grateful when he meets them. The kitchen at Open Door Shelter was in desperate need of new knives. Avrick reached out to Andrea Arnold at Wusthof Outlet Store who in turn donated several of professional-grade knives.

The need though is still out there, he said. The path to improving lives requires more hearts and hands reaching out. “I just feel if more people would help out the world would be a better place,” said Avrick. "A lot of these people are down in the dumps, and it’s always good to see a friendly face."

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