The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County was founded in 1984 as an agency of the Council of Churches and Synagogues. In 2003 The Food Bank became a 501(c)(3) non-profit and today is both the largest hunger relief organization and the only food bank located in lower Fairfield County.
The Food Bank’s mission is “to provide nutritious food to non-profit organizations that feed the hungry in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford and Wilton while seeking to raise awareness of, and promote action to combat, hunger in those communities.” The Food Bank supplies food pantries, homeless shelters, domestic violence safe houses, child day care programs, soup kitchens, senior centers, and rehabilitation programs.
In the past year, The Food Bank has distributed 1,407,257 pounds of food to approximately 97 non-profit agencies and programs it serves, including a handful that Christ Church Greenwich also supports such as Neighbor to Neighbor, Inspirica, Pacific House, Domus, and Abilis, to name a few. Collectively, all member agencies reported serving a total of over 4,000,000 meals at a savings of $2,339,569 over the wholesale cost of such food to more than 180,000 individuals (unduplicated only within each agency).
The food distributed by The Food Bank is donated by local supermarkets, corporations, and individuals. Food is also acquired through food drives and by purchases from food wholesalers.
The demand for emergency food from The Food Bank remains strong. To some extent, the increased demand is the result of the imposition on April 1, 2016 of stricter time limits in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, for most adults aged 18 to 49 who are not raising children and don’t qualify for disability insurance. Such individuals are limited to just three months of SNAP benefits in any 36-month period if they are not working or in a work or training program at least 20 hours per week. These new time limits apply to 5 of the 6 cities and towns served by The Food Bank (Norwalk is the exception).
Christ Church Greenwich makes a difference to The Food Bank with grants, including $6,000 in 2015 and $4,600 in 2016, to help address food insecurity.
“The contribution from Christ Church grants makes a significant impact so that we can purchase highly desired and healthy food items, where the demand greatly exceeds the amounts donated, such as macaroni and cheese, breakfast cereals, fresh chicken, brown rice, canned tuna, and dried black and red beans.”
– Kate Lombardo, Executive Director
The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County
Youth and adult volunteers are always welcome to: conduct food drives; help load food into member agency vehicles; unload donated food; inspect, sort and shelve food in The Food Bank’s warehouse store; make a financial donation; or serve on The Food Bank’s Advisory Board. Training is provided for and vetting is performed on all volunteers.
To learn more, visit foodbanklfc.org