FARMINTON — Healthy Communities Coalition [HCC]worked with Hannaford and Franklin Memorial Hospitals to distribute 100 bags of food to the community. The bags were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and were packed with everything you could need for a holiday dinner.
“This food was purchased from Hannaford,” said Sabrina Keane, HCC’s program coordinator. “They were very helpful in ordering extras for us that Hannaford to-go didn’t have in store.”
Funding for the meal was provided by the John T. Gorman Foundation, and information about the event was made available on the HCC Facebook page.
“The Healthy Communities Coalition Facebook page has a flyer today that says it will start at 9am on a first-come, first-served basis,” Keen said. “I have no plans to reserve a bag. [so, it was] Hospital newsletters, conversations with patients in the pantry, and among the followers of our Facebook page.
The bagged food was non-perishable and was placed on a black bagged table outside the HCC building. People parked their cars in a small parking lot, picked up their bags, and prepared their holiday dinners.
“It was really Erica’s idea to do something for the holidays,” Keane commented.
“We had this funding to come up with some new ideas that we started at Thanksgiving. We created 45 bags to distribute to the community,” said Ericka Buote, administrative assistant at HCC. “So, under the influence of [COVID-19] And food anxiety, it’s the perfect time to return Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving’s 45 bags were such a success that Keane and Buote wanted to try it again for Christmas, but with a bigger batch this time.
I said, “Let’s make 100 Christmas bags.” Let’s basically double it and see how it goes,” Buote said. “So we knew that if we were going to hit 100, we would have to do a little more advertising. That’s why you helped me do it.”
Earlier, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCC tried something similar with a emergency food box. However, given the location of his HCC building on Wilton Rd, a problem arose. “People were trying to turn left, turn right and pull in, but it was impossible,” said Jason Labbe, program and planning coordinator for HCC.
Buote said he is interested in making food bags or something similar next year if funding permits.
“The whole team helped put the bag together. You should have seen the conference room the day we went,” she said. “I think it took less than an hour. [with] Everyone just works together. So I’m sure everyone here would love to do it again. ”