Hines Sight Online

The simple lowdown on Fairfield

A generous community

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For the third straight year, I volunteered at the annual mail carriers’ food drive for Operation Hope. The National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 2313, again did a yeoman’s job of picking up, carrying back and reloading into larger trucks for transport bags of food donations from their route customers.
This year, the Fairfield Theatre Company on Sanford Street lent a portion of its property to Operation Hope for the work of sorting and stacking.
Equally as vital to the annual drive, which helps stock the shelves of the Food Pantry for months, are the volunteers who spend hours inside a warehouse sorting and stacking those donations. When I arrived at 2 p.m. Saturday the warehouse already was busy with volunteers and some food already had been sorted, but much more was on its way. And it sure was. It always warms my heart to see the generosity of Fairfielders. It is clear that many residents purposely shop for this food drive. I mean, who really has four large jars of peanut butter in their cupboards? Or 20 cans of tuna fish? (Yes, one bag I grabbed and sorted had that much tuna fish in it.)
Let’s talk about the volunteers. They worked hard (myself included). Lifting heavy bags of canned goods and other items and being on your feet for hours as you carry those bags while you sort the food into containers is not easy work. But it’s rewarding, especially when you think about how many people will be helped by those donations and your effort to help stock the shelves. The Food Pantry, say the organizers at Operation Hope, has seen more and more people every year who need basic food supplies.
I have to make special mention of the kids who volunteer each year at the food drive. They range in age from 8 to 18. They dig right in, work fast, take their task seriously and clearly have some fun. Fairfield should be proud of these youngsters who gave up a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon to selflessly help others.
The work was far from done by the time we left at 7 p.m. and would be finished this week. By the end of the week, all of the containers of sorted food will be transported to the pantry by even more volunteers. And a whole other set of volunteers will place those donations on the pantry shelves.
While the NALC food drive is the largest conducted each year for the pantry, donations are needed year-round. For information, visit Operation Hope’s website at www.operationhopect.org.

Categories: General

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