Thanksgiving is two weeks away -- marking the beginning of the holiday season.
If you're looking for ways to give back to the community as the holiday spirit approaches (or you just want to help those in need in your community), consider donating food or volunteering at the Connecticut Food Bank's Fairfield warehouse on Linwood Avenue.
Among many other programs, the Food Bank runs the Kids' BackPack Program, which distributes nutritious meals on Fridays and the day before school vacations to students enrolled in area schools' free and reduced lunch programs.
"They're fed during the school week, but they may run the risk of going home to an empty pantry on the weekends," said Director of Philanthropy Rick Reichert.
Steve Wilkos, host of the talk show "The Steve Wilkos Show," volunteered with his family at the warehouse in October. They helped bag the food items and pack them into boxes to be distributed to schools in Fairfield County.
Wilkos said he was looking for ways to get his children engaged in the community since he and his family moved to Stamford.
"Me and my wife [Rachelle] have been looking for opportunities to get our kids involved in giving back to the community we live in," he said. "This is a perfect situation for us to make our kids aware of how fortunate they are...and that there are kids out there who miss meals."
"We just thought it was a great thing to do," he added.
The BackPack program services 2,500 children statewide, Reichert said. Even wih the help of generous donors, Reichert said the Food Bank is still unable to meet the demand of the program.
The Fairfield Warehouse utilizes volunteers from Fairfield, Weston, and Easton high schools to help organize and bag the take-home meals.
Locally, the Food Bank runs the BackPack Program in:
Other towns and cities in the state serviced include:
- East Haven
- West Haven
- New Haven
If you are interested in donating or volunteering, contact Kim Damien, the Food Bank's volunteer coordinator, at 203-469-5000 ext. 311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.