This past week, Wilton Congregational Church has made bagged lunches each morning at the church, in conjunction with the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, for Norwalk children in need. According to organizers, the children who received the lunches prepared by church volunteers normally qualify for school lunches and might go without a noon meal during the summer without this outreach program.

“These children fall through the cracks in the summer, they’re on their own basically,” said Heidi Hawk, who chairs the Board of Mission and Service for Wilton Congregational, the group at the church who coordinates outreach efforts. She said that the church has been told by the Bridgeport Rescue Mission that many of the children served by the program may actually only get one meal a day–this lunch.

Through the week approximately 30 Wilton Congregational volunteers prepared 810 meals of sandwiches, an apple, a snack and a juice box. Hawk added that this is the third year the church has participated in this particular outreach assistance program. Each year, they have been supported by the Village Market, who helps the group coordinate the quantities of food that need to be ordered, and only charges the group at cost.

According to Hawk, the overall program is coordinated by the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, which helps needy children in Norwalk as well as in other communities throughout Connecticut. Other local churches and faith-based communities take part by helping to make lunches on other weeks and for other cities; Wilton Congregational Church adopted one week–Aug 4-8–to prepare and deliver the bagged lunches in Norwalk.

Wilton Congregational works with the Bridgeport Rescue Mission as just one of a handful of other partners that they help both financially and through hands-on outreach and volunteer support activities. Other mission partners include Keystone House in Norwalk, the Open Door Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Covenant to Care, and Person-to-Person.

The church also runs coat drives as well as a turkey and food drive at Thanksgiving.

For more information on contributing to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, contact Donna Romano at 203.333.4087 or visit their website.

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