Tickets for the Wilton Woman’s Club Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon may sell out every year because of the fun, fashion and friendship, but don’t forget about the philanthropy. Every year this very important fundraiser raises several thousands of dollars for local nonprofits serving Wilton and beyond. This year’s recipient is the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.
“We are buying so much of our food right now, especially in these inflationary times. What we call soft dollar donations, which is food, they’ve gone down tremendously. So if we can’t get it donated, then we’re going to have to go out and buy it,” Food Bank Executive Director Kate Lombardo said. “Partnerships with people like the Wilton Woman’s Club are most important.”
Wilton is one of six towns served by the Food Bank and the Woman’s Club has been a longtime partner. Members like Patti Dormer volunteer to visit the Stamford warehouse every Monday morning. There they pick up fresh produce and frozen meats including chicken, beef, fish, and more to stock the Wilton Food Pantry with items it otherwise wouldn’t be able to get for the Wilton families who receive services.
“You gather the food and then you go back to the pantry and stock the shelves. When you open a refrigerator and there’s nothing in it and then you fill it up, it is very rewarding. It allowed me to do something where I could see direct impact pretty quickly,” Dormer said.
There are over 100 families in Wilton who are eligible to shop at the town’s Food Pantry every week. According to Lauren Hughes, the Wilton Social Services coordinator who manages Food Pantry, other organizations and individuals also donate items, but those are non-perishable.
“We don’t have another source for [frozen meats and fresh produce] during the nine months of the year when there are not gardens such as Ambler Farm and local gardens in town and the Trackside garden producing fresh food. So we wouldn’t have access to that food if the Woman’s Club wasn’t shopping at the Lower Fairfield Food Bank,” she said.
This year’s fashion show fundraiser is on Thursday, April 27. Tickets are available on the Wilton Women’s Club website, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Food Bank not only for Wilton, but other communities in the area as well.
“It’s just a great, great organization and a big, huge need right now. So that’s the first reason [to buy a ticket to attend the luncheon]. It’s a great cause. The second is for community. It’s really nice to come together, especially post-Covid and just to be with other ladies from the Wilton area. It’s a very nice event and you feel good and I enjoy it,” Dormer added.