PFP Services of Orange, CT Partners with Milford Food 2 Kids
The FSP Foundation helps build a secure future for all. Milford Food 2 Kids helps build food security.
A good partnership...
August 31, 2017—The FSP Foundation of PFP Services of Orange, CT awarded Milford Food 2 Kids a $7,000 grant, sponsoring 20 children for the school year and assistance for building a sustainable program. In addition, 17 employees of PFP volunteered for a day of service with Milford Food 2 Kids.
"It was easy," said Sean, 31 years with PFP, when asked what surprised him about serving with Milford Food 2 Kids.
The work was easy when PFP Services' 17 employees teamed up with 10 MF2K regulars to launch our 2017-2018 program. Together we picked up 2300+ pounds of food from CT Food Bank in Wallingford, CT and shopped for a cargo van full of food at Costco in Milford. It was easy when Ellen, Amanda, Scott and Darnell jumped into action, unloading cases of Chef Boyardee, shelf-stable milk and cereal.
PFP volunteers: Sara, Carole, Ryan, Libby and Joyce worked side by side with volunteers: Lloyd, Tom, Brian and Michele. So it felt easy when the bucket-brigade of caring volunteers passed flats of peanut butter, hand to hand to stock shelves that Chuck designed particularly for such an abundance of food. Stocking and storing 480 containers of Mac & Cheese, 1000 snacks and 1000 juice boxes proved manageable when facilities like Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and First United Church of Christ share space for our mission to feed local school children.
After we stocked, we packed. We call food packing, "Trick or Treating." We station food items on tables arranged in a horseshoe. It feels effortless, picking up one of the 100 double bags that Joan assembled early on our service day, receiving an item at each station before double-tying and passing off to the sorting room. Tina and Jerrica, Toni and Dustin, Amy and Christina made it easy to fill the bins of food bags that will be delivered to our school partners. Packing goes quickly. A thousand thank yous were given and received while we packed.
PFP Services' FSP Foundation sponsored 20 students for the 2017-2018 school year, and shared in an eye-opening experience of handling over 4000 pounds of food that will be distributed to children, beyond the 20 sponsorships. Just like manna from heaven, this food has a shelf-life, and needs to be distributed for the full-blessing to take effect.
The work was easy because of the exuberance and generosity, and let's be honest, the physical strength of our volunteer powerhouse on August 31. But the challenges were inferred:
· Renting cargo vans, arranging for volunteer drivers, and then returning vans after the event. · Ordering food with only a week's notice from CT Food Bank, where we purchase select items for our bags. · Organizing shopping excursions at local businesses, like Costco.
PFP volunteers joined us as Food 2 Kids Ambassadors, not only when they took the leap to sponsor children, but also when they shared in the real work of getting the food to kids in Milford, CT.
Sometimes the impact of your service doesn't hit you until you realize that you know someone in one of the schools we serve, when you know a teacher or administrator who encounters the stories and needs of children in the classroom, or until you see some of our effort in your own story. Maybe you were the kid who watched a classmate struggle with need. Maybe you were the one who needed help as a child or as a parent. Then it is real, and with that knowledge comes great responsibility to do something about it. Because kids can't learn on empty stomachs.
2017-2018 school year begins with food on our shelves, with a growing list of volunteers who know the minutiae of the program, and with a passionate force of volunteers who stand behind our mission.
After packing events, from whatever faith tradition people come, we offer a blessing over the food. We bless the kids who receive, the teachers and school staff who recognize need, the households who will benefit, and the volunteers who are moved to serve the community for the sake of our kids.
Milford Food 2 Kids thanks PFP Services volunteers for such an inspiring day that will have a long-lasting and complex, positive impact.
Milford Food 2 Kids
34 West Main Street
Milford, CT 06460
Milford Food 2 Kids is an initiative of the First United Church of Christ, Milford, in collaboration with CT Food Bank, to attend to the needs of local children who have little or no food during the weekend away from school.