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3/8/2017 - Town of Fairfield, Operation Hope and United Way Join Efforts to Help Fight Hunger-Fairfield Food Drive for Hope- March 13th-March 31st

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that the Town of Fairfield, in partnership with United Way of Coastal Fairfield County (UWCFC), is launching a 3-week long food drive to benefit Operation Hope, located in Fairfield, CT. Food collections sites will be located at Old Town Hall, as well as several other Town Department sites, such as the Fairfield Public Library and the Fairfield Fire Department. A complete list of drop off sites can be found below.

Among the many services it provides, Operation Hope helps local families and individuals overcome food insecurity through their volunteer-run food pantry. “Our food pantry is now serving over 800 local residents and last year provided enough food to make 150,000 meals,” said Carla Miklos, Executive Director of Operation Hope. “The individuals, families and seniors that use our pantry are struggling to make ends meet – they are making choices between paying rent, heat and medical bills or purchasing food. We are so grateful to be part of a caring community. Together, we can help our neighbors overcome these challenges with our support.”

Consistent with the Town of Fairfield’s tradition of support for community-focused organizations, the Town will also be launching its annual workplace campaign for its employees to help raise money for United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, which works year round to improve outcomes for children and families in Fairfield and across their 12-town footprint. “For thousands of kids in coastal Fairfield County, a good education, health, and a stable family income are not a given,” said Mike Tetreau, Fairfield’s First Selectman. “If you want a happy ending, you start at the beginning.”

Positive Community Impact:
Throughout Fairfield County, United Way, working in partnership with local businesses, governments, schools, volunteers and community organizations, such as Operation Hope, are making a difference for the 36% of families living at or just above the poverty line. In Coastal Fairfield County, United Way defines those households who struggle to meet their basic cost of living expenses as ALICE or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These families are often vulnerable to unexpected expenses, such as car repairs and medical bills.

In the Town of Fairfield, 21% or over 20,000 households find themselves in need of extra support. Organizations such as Operation Hope help to fill that gap. At Operation Hope, the Food Pantry helps provide families with basic food needs or supplement items not covered by food stamps, such as toothpaste and diapers, while volunteers at the Community Kitchen provide two meals a day at the shelter, feeding 50 people per meal, 365 days a year.

Participation is Key:
Charitable organizations like Operation Hope and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County rely on the generosity of the community for support. To participate in the Fairfield Food Drive for Hope, please bring your donation(s) to any of the locations listed below beginning on Monday, March 13th and ending Friday, March 31st from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Suggested Items are also listed below.

Donation Wish List:
Canned pasta meals (Chef Boyardee/Spaghettios, etc.)
Canned stew
Canned chicken/meat/fish
Shelf stable milk and juice
Coffee/tea/hot chocolate
Condiments/salad dressing

Drop off locations:
Old Town Hall--611 Old Post Road
Sullivan Independence Hall--725 Old Post Road
Fire Station 1--140 Reef Road
Fire Station 2--600 Jennings Road
Fire Station 3--400 Jackman Avenue
Fire Station 4--69 Main Street, Southport
Fire Station 5--3965 Congress Street
Police Department--100 Reef Road
Bigelow Senior Center--100 Mona Terrace
Park and Recreation--75 Mill Plain Road
Fairfield Public Library--1080 Old Post Road
Fairfield Woods Branch Library--1147 Fairfield Woods Road

For more information, please contact:
Sonal S. Rajan
Marketing Associate
Operation Hope
Fairfield, CT 06824
Mark Barnhart
United Way Volunteer

About Operation Hope:
The mission of Operation Hope is to provide the opportunity for individuals and families to experience transformative change. By addressing basic needs for food and shelter, as well as offering long-term solutions to hunger and homelessness, including affordable housing, life skills training and personalized clinical support, we help people reach their potential in an environment where compassion inspires dignity and hope. For more information, contact Operation Hope at (203) 292-5588 or visit www.operationhopect.org.

About United Way of Coastal Fairfield County:
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s mission is: “Together, we mobilize our communities to improve people’s lives”. Our vision is that all at-risk children in Coastal Fairfield County are successful in school and prepared for success in life. United Way of Coastal Fairfield County serves the towns of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton. Find out more at our website at www.unitedwaycfc.org, and follow us on social media @UWCFC.

The photo shows First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Carla Miklos, Executive Director of Operation Hope, and United Way Volunteer Mark Barnhart who is also the Town's Community and Economic Development Director.