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Fairfield Prep is putting its Jesuit mission of Men for Others into action. The “Lunch 4 Life” campaign successfully raised more than $72,000 from 565 donors, providing thousands of invaluable meals to frontline healthcare and community workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Launched on April 1, the greater Prep community responded immediately with donations to the appeal. The outpouring of generosity allowed the program to expand its reach quickly, delivering meals to more than 10 organizations including hospitals, senior nursing facilities, veterans’ homes, CT Hospice, and community outreach centers serving the growing unemployed and homeless populations. Prep will continue to do this with contributions, with plans to deliver more than 7,000 meals over the coming weeks.
Local restaurants are vital partners in the effort, preparing and delivering lunches in the greater Bridgeport and New Haven areas. In addition to Prep's food service provider Vazzy's, several Prep community restaurants have joined the team, including Little Pub, Old Post Tavern, Gaetano's and Country Cow.
When a Vazzy’s catering truck packed full of bagged lunches pulled up to the Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Room last week, Steve Jakab, President of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation and Prep alumnus, expressed gratitude. “Our frontline caregivers—our doctors, our nurses, all the hospital staff—are really making sacrifices, taking such risks to give great care to our COVID-19 patients, and this kind of support means the world to them,” said Jakab.
At Northbridge Health Care Center in Bridgeport, which is dedicated to senior rehabilitation services, administrator Erica Roman was thrilled to reward her hardworking employees with a nourishing meal. “Today, in a world where we have to be so far apart, it feels like we’re together with the community,” she said. “We’re so thankful and it’s made such a positive impact on my staff.”
Lunch 4 Life grew quickly in scope, with meal drop-offs completed at: Bridgeport Hospital, Northbridge Health Care Center, Carolton Chronic & Convalescent Hospital, Connecticut Hospice, the Thomas Merton Center food kitchen, Spooner House homeless shelter, Homes for the Brave veterans shelter, and Hall Neighborhood House community center. The list of benefiting agencies will continue to increase, with upcoming deliveries scheduled for St. Vincent’s Hospital, Open Door Shelter, Wesley Heights senior center, Kolbe Cathedral family assistance program and more.
“These times are difficult for all of us. We’re told to stay home as much as possible, to stay in. But we’re working with folks here who don’t have a place to call home, and so they’re feeling even more isolated than before,” said Spooner House Executive Director Susan Agamy. “Aside from the food, this reminds them there are others who care, that they’re not forgotten. It’s a wonderful gesture of community service.”
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