Neena Perez, Manager of the Commons, is leading a team to cook meals for those served by Fairfield County organizations
During the temporary closure of Grace Farms to the public due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Grace Farms Foundation (GFF) is serving the community by providing nutritious food for hundreds of local families in need. This week, GFF’s culinary team is preparing nearly 500 fresh, healthy meals that will be distributed by half a dozen local not-for-profit organizations that partner with GFF. Food for these meals comes from Grace Farms’ Garden and Commons.
GFF has long-standing partnerships with many local organizations in Fairfield County that help their communities. For several years, GFF has partnered with Person 2 Person and Food Rescue US to provide surplus food from the Commons and Garden to those in need. Many of these organizations also have been a part of GFF’s Space Grant program, benefiting from free space that they have used for meetings, trainings, and capacity building to help support their work.
This week and during our closure, GFF will work with the following organizations as they provide critical food security and other assistance in these challenging times:
- Person 2 Person: GFF will provide meals for the individuals and families whom they serve. Person 2 Person provides assistance for basic needs to overcome daily challenges and access to resources to improve lives.
- Inspirica: Inspirica works to break the cycle of homelessness. GFF will provide meals for Inspirica clients.
- Open Door Shelter: Open Door provides shelter, food, clothing, case management services, treatment services, and transitional planning for children and families in Norwalk. GFF will donate pantry staple items for their clients.
- Staying Put New Canaan: GFF is providing hot meals for seniors who work with Staying Put, which gives social support and assistance to seniors in the New Canaan area.
- Bridgeport Rescue Mission: This organization provides meals, clothing, shelter, and recovery services for people experiencing poverty, addiction, and homelessness. GFF is providing canned goods and cooked meals for their clients.
- Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI): CIRI provides services and advocacy for immigrants, refugees, and survivors of human trafficking and torture. GFF will provide meals and food for those they serve.
- Food Rescue US: Food Rescue US delivers food from business that have too much to those in need. GFF is working with Food Rescue US to deliver meals, canned goods, and produce that organizations can use to re-stock their supplies and continue to serve the community.
“As a foundation dedicated to advancing good and addressing difficult, pressing humanitarian issues through our place and initiatives, our full team is working as hard as ever to uniquely serve the most vulnerable during our temporary closure,” said Sharon Prince GFF CEO and Founder. “Our extraordinary team at Grace Farms Foundation has the ability to safely cook and donate staples, and we are committed to using our resources to do whatever we can. Right now, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) escalates, that means providing healthy meals for those without food security in our local neighborhoods and communities.”
“I have been preparing my team for two weeks and now we are energized and grateful to continue serving these critical community organizations with nutritious food,” said Neena Perez, Commons Manager. “This is such a fantastic way to show love to our surrounding communities.“
GFF is temporarily closed to the public and has been closed since March 9. There has been no known case of COVID-19 connected to Grace Farms; however, Grace Farms Foundation took the prudent step of taking preventative measures for the health and safety of all our visitors, staff, and community. GFF will continue to follow all CDC, Connecticut State, and local guidelines and act accordingly. Check Grace Farms’ website for the most up to date information.
Read more about Grace Farms’ community response.