In response to an increase in demand for food assistance, and to ensure that their most at-risk clients receive the essentials, Person-to-Person has implemented a new home delivery system, called Door2Door, for those unable to leave their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

Using a contact-less system of delivery, volunteer drivers are dropping off bags of groceries at the doorsteps of P2P clients who are not able to make an in-person visit to one of their three food pantries, whether due to age, disability, illness, or other high-risk category. P2P has food pantry locations in Darien, Norwalk, and a mobile pantry in Stamford, and has seen a sharp increase in the need for food assistance at all three of their locations.

“We have many clients who are seniors or need to remain in their homes. No one should have to choose between their safety and access to food,” shares Nancy Coughlin, CEO of Person-to-Person. “With the help of volunteers, we have been able to quickly adapt our services to make sure no one goes hungry during this crisis.”

On the first week of the Door2Door home delivery program, drivers delivered bags of groceries, packed in our pantries, to sixty area homes.

Max, a Stamford resident and P2P client, had not needed to use the food pantry in two years. But due to sudden job loss, Max found himself in need of food for himself and his elderly mother. Because of illness and lack of transportation, and despite several attempts, Max explained that he was unable to make it to a pantry. “Person-to-Person came through for me in this uncertain time. I was stuck at home with no food, and the delivery came right when we needed it.”

P2P Board members Kim Dickinson and Jackie Leonard worked with Juri Garone, P2P’s Manager of Volunteers and Community Relations, to develop the Door2Door program, which involves the daily coordination of drivers and clients. “You can hear the relief in client's voices when we offer them the option for home delivery of their food order. They are very appreciative and thankful for our recognition that it is safer for them to stay home during this COVID-19 crisis,” explains Leonard.

Working with community partners has been critical in ensuring that seniors in need are identified. In Norwalk, the Senior Services Coordinating Council, Inc. is actively involved in making daily deliveries from P2P’s Norwalk food pantry to Norwalk seniors. The First Congregational Church of Norwalk, a long-time partner of P2P, was instrumental in launching this program. In Stamford, P2P is partnering with Stamford Together, a citywide volunteer program that was formed to support the city’s response efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Door2Door program is reliant on volunteers, and more are needed to help pre-pack groceries and to deliver them to the doorsteps of client’s homes and apartment buildings. Packing is done at P2P’s Darien location, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, in an open space following social distancing protocols. Anyone who is in a position to help should contact Juri Garone, P2P’s Manager of Volunteers, at JuriGarone@p2pHelps.org or (203)621-0703.

With locations and food pantries in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford, Person-to-Person also provides casework services that can connect people to additional resources when appropriate. They served nearly 25,000 residents of lower Fairfield County in 2019. Individuals in need of assistance can reach P2P by calling 203-655-0048 or visiting p2pHelps.org.

About Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person, Inc. was established in 1968 to provide low-income individuals and families living in Lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services. A community-supported agency, Person-to-Person is committed to providing individuals and families with assistance for basic needs to overcome daily challenges and access to resources to improve their lives. With a vision of educated, financially stable, and hunger-free homes for all, programs include food and clothing assistance, emergency financial assistance, and Camperships and Scholarships. With locations in Darien and Norwalk, and a warehouse and mobile food pantry in Stamford, the Person-to-Person service area includes Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

For more information visit: www.p2phelps.org