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Newman’s Own donates $25K to Darien nonprofit for Sandy relief

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In response to the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy throughout Fairfield County, Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, awarded a $25,000 emergency assistance grant to Darien-based Person-to-Person.

The grant is part of a strategic commitment from Newman’s to help those most severely affected by the storm, both in the near-term and in ongoing recovery efforts, the foundation said. Person-to-Person will use the grant specifically toward the purchase of a generator and to improve the communications system for the agency.

The need — and overwhelming impact of the disaster — became apparent to the agency when the 45-year-old organization found itself without power for six days, lost $1,600 worth of food from its Darien Food Pantry, and had no internet or phone service for seven days.

“What a wake-up call for Person-to-Person,” said Ceci Maher, executive director. “As an emergency assistance agency, we were distressed by our inability to help in a time of great need. It was devastating to throw away food due to a power outage, and frustrating to spend an entire week without being able to help those who needed us most. This support from Newman’s Own Foundation will make a significant impact on our ability to provide assistance.”

Robert Forrester, Newman’s Own Foundation president and CEO, said the foundation is “saddened by the hardship felt by so many people along the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”

“We are grateful to Person-to-Person and their extraordinary efforts in serving those in need throughout this difficult time,” Forrester said.

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