This past week the Wilton Congregational Church made 220 fresh lunches each day, Monday through Thursday, for kids in Norwalk who typically receive lunch through a lunch program during the school year. According to one of the organizers, church member Molly Macauley, the Congregational Church has been part of this program for four years.
The lunch program is administered through the Bridgeport Rescue Mission in South Norwalk. During the summer, the Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) runs a day camp for resident children. These children qualify for breakfast and lunch at school, but NHA does not have the funding to provide meals during the summer.
Each lunch prepared by the church volunteers contained a sandwich (two days of bologna and cheese and two days of turkey and cheese), a drink, an apple, one or two snacks, mayo and mustard and a napkin.
Macauley, who organized the effort with fellow WCC member Heidi Hawk, said that volunteers of all ages helped prepare the lunches from 8:30-10 a.m. each day.
“We had about 10-15 people of all ages come help each morning. I loved the camaraderie of working along side people of all ages (the youngest was around 6-years-old) to make the lunches. Everyone enjoyed it. Emily Yassef (age 14) said she didn’t mind getting up so early because it was for such a good cause. Her sister, Caroline (age 11), said, ‘This is actually pretty fun.’ I love that because I’m sure teenagers would much rather sleep in,” Macauley said.
What’s more, the project was rewarding on multiple levels. Macauley reported that the Costco employee who carried the 880 juice drinks to her car told her he was so happy to help do something to help others. She also noted that the Bridgeport Rescue Mission contact said if it weren’t for the lunches, some of the children wouldn’t take part in the summer camp.
Macauley said the Church also was grateful for the outstanding help provided by the Village Market.
“Everyone at the Village Market was so helpful in every way. They assisted in figuring out the quantities of items we needed and provided the food at cost. They even allowed us to pick up the food in stages in order to keep it as fresh as possible. Everyone was so helpful in each department. We are so lucky to have the Village Market in Wilton,” she said.