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Norwalk Turns Out To Stamp Out Hunger

A Wilton High School student volunteer unloads a postal truck in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Contributed
Wilton High School student volunteers at the Wilton Post Office. Photo Credit: Contributed
Wilton High School student volunteers sort donated food in Norwalk. Photo Credit: Contributed
Pepperidge Farm volunteers check expiration dates and sort food in Norwalk Photo Credit: Contributed
Pepperidge Farm volunteers waiting to load truck with crates of sorted food for transport to P2P Norwalk Food Pantry. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- Volunteers from the Wilton High School Class of 2018 met postal trucks returning to the Wilton Post Office filled with grocery bags of donated food and then transferred the donations to the Person-to-Person truck for transport to South Norwalk.

At the same time, another contingent of students from the Class of 2018 was on hand at the South Norwalk Community Center, used as a staging area, to receive the food donations from Norwalk.

On Monday, May 11, more than 200 Pepperidge Farm volunteers arrived at the community center to handle the final phase of unpacking bags, checking expiration dates, sorting the food and transporting everything to the P2P Norwalk Food Pantry.

According to Norwalk Site Manager Callie Jayne, who managed the two-day effort, the work went smoothly and quickly in large part due to the can-do spirit of the student volunteers and the dedicated teamwork of the Pepperidge Farm volunteers.

“In all, nearly 90 students participated in the NALC Food Drive,” Jayne said.

To accommodate the huge amount of donations being received in Wilton – the final tally was more than 1,700 bags – one of the school busses that had brought the students to Norwalk was dispatched to the Wilton Post Office. Once there, the students loaded the seats with grocery bags and the bus returned to Norwalk with its cargo. Jayne said the work of the Pepperidge Farm volunteers was impressive.

“They worked in two shifts from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – checking expiration dates, sorting food into crates, loading crates onto the P2P truck and a Pepperidge Farm truck, walking from the SoNo Community Center to P2P Norwalk, offloading the two trucks, stacking the crates in the Food Pantry and storage areas, walking back to the SoNo Community Center, and then doing it all over again,” Jayne said.

With more than 54,000 pounds of donated food valued at more than $108,000, the food pantry at P2P Norwalk has sufficient stock to provide food for nearly three months.

“Because people came together in these two communities, many individuals and families in Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Wilton will know where their next meal is coming from," Jayne said.

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