During the week of July 15 – July 19, a youth group from the First Congregational Church of Vernon (17 volunteers in all) put their “hands on Hartford” to make a difference in our community. From Monday morning to Friday afternoon, volunteers worked at the MANNA Community Pantry, Community Meals and Peter’s Retreat, in addition to Keney Park in Hartford and the Salvation Army’s Marshall House shelter.
Activities included painting, planting and yard work and hosting BINGO and an ice cream party for Peter’s Retreat residents. Volunteers also ran a food drive (collecting 288 pounds of food!), stocked shelves at the food pantry, served lunch to 107 guests at the soup kitchen and attended a Faces of Homelessness presentation.
The Hands On Hartford Community Engagement Team organized this week-long customized service project – it was a lot of work during the hottest week of the summer, but everyone had a great time and ended the week feeling inspired by the huge difference they made in Hartford.
Hands On Hartford was recently awarded a $70,000 grant by Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA). The grant will assist in the purchase of food for Hands On Hartford’s MANNA food programs, including its soup kitchen, weekend senior meals program, food pantry and backpack nutrition program. These programs serve men, women and children living in Hartford neighborhoods most affected by poverty.
“We are tremendously grateful for CHEFA’s support of the work that we do,” says Executive Director Barbara A. Shaw. “This grant makes a huge difference in our ability to address the alarming rate of hunger and food insecurity in our community.”
“We are thankful for this opportunity to partner with Hands On Hartford in reaching out to those most in need through its various food programs,” says CHEFA Executive Director, Jeffrey A. Asher.
The grant to Hands On Hartford was just part of a total of $1 million in grants recently announced by CHEFA to 28 of nonprofit institutions throughout the state that assist in providing food, healthcare and shelter. CHEFA is a quasi-public agency created by the State Legislature to help Connecticut healthcare and educational institutions, and other not-for-profit entities obtain tax exempt financing. CHEFA is self-sustaining and receives no taxpayer funds. For more information about CHEFA, visit http://www.chefa.com.