On June 8, collaborative project Refill the Pantry’s 20 volunteers accomplished another successful collection for Operation Hope’s Pantry. They delivered 1,525 pounds of requested items as well as a monetary collection of $890 cash, a $15 Stop & Shop card, and a Thrivent $250 Visa Card, with donations totaling $1,155. Thank you to the Villa Avenue Stop & Shop in Fairfield for opening its doors to Refill the Project hosting the drive at their store. We are deeply grateful to Refill the Pantry, and the volunteers and donors who make it possible to help our neighbors in need. These generous contributions will keep us going for a good portion of the summer, as well as help supplement anything missing and needed when pantry stock runs low.

Refill the Pantry’s goal is to help the area’s food pantries serve the needs of the hungry in their community. The need is great. According to estimates from Feeding America, around 1 in 10 people in Connecticut struggle with hunger, including more than 83,000 children. In the Bridgeport area, the food insecurity rate – the number of people who are both low-income and lack access to healthy foods – is around 16.5%.

Refill the Pantry is a collaborative project sponsored by four churches: Our Saviour’s Lutheran (Fairfield), First Presbyterian (Fairfield), Grace Lutheran (Stratford) and Good Shepherd Lutheran (Monroe). Since the churches began collaborating on food pantry collections in October 2022, they have gathered over 26,000 pounds of food and $18,800 in cash and gift card donations. In 2024, Refill the Pantry will conduct 11 collections in support of six area food pantries. This would not be possible without the 95 individuals from the four churches who have helped.