For February’s Alliance Allies Livestream, host Dr. Monette Ferguson was on site in Norwalk at Calf Pasture Beach for the Foodshare and CT Food Bank weekly drive-thru food distribution, which happens in Norwalk on Wednesdays from 9AM-noon. The weekly on line social media show gave a warm welcome to the more than 40 volunteers, who often donate their time; some, every week to be there in Norwalk to load thousands of pounds of food into their neighbors’ cars.
During the height of COVID, the need is great for donations, especially food. It is estimated that there are 5400 people suffering of food insecurity in the community. But this Wednesday was not like just any day. It was 28-degree weather. “Help is not a bad word,” said Lamond Daniels, the City of Norwalk Chief of Community Services. “Come out and let us help you. We need our volunteers,” he said.
A Norwalk volunteer who comes out faithfully every week said “I want to help. I want to make a difference. I feel great doing this.” She smiled and said when she was told it was below freezing outside.
Also, Pastor Elizabeth Able and Christina Wycliff from Cornerstone Church were there to offer support to those who needed it. There was a lot of planning and effort that went into the event. “We will keep doing this as long as there are food resources. We are getting the word out that this is here through social media and faith communities,” said local Firefighter Michele DeLuca.
Christian Herrera from the CT Food Bank said that there were about 40,000 to 60,000 pounds of food being distributed to thousands. “We couldn’t do this without the volunteers. Our goal here is to fight hunger,” said Herrera.
There were many special guests, but it was an honor to see Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Norwalk’s mayor Harry Rilling all bundled up in layers for warmth and showing their support. The Lt. Governor said, “There are so many people who have stepped up and donated food and money. If you have resources, this is a good way to donate.” The endless back-to-back cars lined up at Calf Pasture Beach showed the overwhelming need. “There is just so much food insecurity, because people are losing their jobs and are really hurting. It is heart wrenching,” said the mayor.
Dr. Ferguson said Alliance shares in this mission and also provides funds for feeding the volunteers. She agreed that, “the volunteers have wrapped their hearts and arms around the people of Norwalk. It is about love and giving and taking care of the community.”
In closing, Alliance Allies “did something different this time. We got out into the community to show our love. God bless,” said Dr. Ferguson. Foodshare and CT Food Bank are currently still offering these services across the state weekly. Find the nearest Food Distribution location to you if you are in need or able to volunteer.