During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff and volunteers recognized the need to change the operations of our pantry. A curbside, prepackaged delivery system was created to safely provide food and other essential items to those in need in the Town of Fairfield, CT. In these unprecedented times, many volunteers were unable to help due to the high risk of COVID-19. However, Fairfield’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteered to help run the food distribution tent which helped ensure that we could continue to feed our community. Fairfield CERT is a trained volunteer organization which works under the Town of Fairfield’s Emergency Management Department. During this pandemic, CERT volunteers showed up, quickly joined the Operation Hope team and helped those in need. Since April 3, just a few weeks after the Town essentially shut down, CERT volunteers have provided 33 volunteers over 87 day of service and over 1,500 volunteer hours. They made the difference between Operation Hope remaining open and not closing down at a time when our community was truly in need. As our pantry returns indoors due to space concerns and fall approaching, several CERT volunteers plan to stay and help us after these changes are made.
Yesterday, we hosted a send off lunch to thank the CERT volunteers for their efforts, with sandwiches catered from

Fred 06825 and the most adorable decorated cookies from Custom Cookies by Marina. Also on hand were Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, whose office we thank for issuing proclamations for the volunteers, as well as
Fairfield Fire Department Fire Chief Denis McCarthy and Deputy Fire Chief Kyran Dunn.
We are deeply grateful to all of the dedicated and brave CERT volunteers for going above and beyond during this challenging time to help feed and care for our Fairfield neighbors in need.