State Sen. Bob Duff, D-25, and other officials presented the Darien-based Person-to-Person with a $20,000 grant on Aug. 8 from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority for the purchase of food for P2P's pantries. P2P is one of 28 nonprofit agencies throughout the state approved by CHEFA as part of a $1 million grant distribution to organizations that assist in providing food, health care and shelter.

"Too many of our local families go without adequate food and other necessities on a regular basis," said Duff. "As we work to improve our economy and increase opportunities for more people, organizations like Person-to-Person provide critical services that make a real difference in the lives of so many families."

Jeffrey Asher, executive director of CHEFA, said the agency provides more than $2 million a year in grants to not-for-profit agencies, about half of which is dedicated to programs that support basic human needs of Connecticut's citizens.

"With their emphasis on volunteer work and donated food, Person-to-Person is able to stretch their funds to feed a greater number of Connecticut's families. CHEFA's contribution will help them reach an additional 1,260 residents," Asher said.

Person-to-Person operates two pantries that provides groceries for residents of lower Fairfield County. Through donations, financial grants and food drives, such as the one by the annual National Association of Letter Carriers, P2P is able to provide food for nearly 450,000 meals each year. Every week, both pantries serve more than 200 families with seven days of food. The need for food in Norwalk is significant, no more so than in the summer months when the schools are not in session, and children have limited access to breakfast and lunches at school feeding sites.

Person-to-Person's Norwalk facility located at 76 South Main St. is undergoing renovations throughout August to better accommodate clients in a new self-serve food pantry where they will shop alongside volunteers to choose what they know their families will eat. Casework offices are also being reconfigured to better accommodate clients. During the renovation, casework services and the food pantry are being housed in the South Norwalk Community Center and Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now at 98 South Main St.

For information, visit www.p2pHelps.org.

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