Some people are not as fortunate as others.
That’s the message Lori Golias Burany is trying to instill in her kids at an early age through participating in charitable events like the first annual Kidz 4 Kids Food Drive in front the Stop & Shop on Quality Street from noon to 4 Sunday, July 26.
“I want to let them know early on that some people aren’t as lucky as we are, and that there are people out there who need our help and support,” said Burany, whose three daughters — Chloe, Amber and Danielle — will be collecting food this weekend with her and her husband Beau.
All the donations will be delivered to the Trumbull Food Pantry, which Burany didn’t even realize existed when she moved to town five years ago.
Since then, she’s become an active member in the community and has reached out to the pantry’s coordinators, Jennifer Gillis and Jane Horton, to see what they needed this summer.
“Summer is the time of the year when the food in the food pantry is probably at its lowest, and there’s a long list of needs,” Burany said. “There always seems to be a big kick with food donations around Thanksgiving and the holidays but then the collection lessens and dwindles down throughout the year...
“It’s a combination of a few factors — there’s less donations coming, there’s more people leaving town and because school is out, there are more kids eating lunch at home than there typically are during the school year,” she added. “Because they aren’t in school to have a school lunch, they might not be able to eat lunch every day.”
Some of the “kid food” items that the Burany family will be collecting this weekend include canned soup, mac ‘n’ cheese, cracker snacks, granola bars, fruit cups, applesauce, cereal, juice boxes, and juice snacks.
In addition, the food pantry is seeking the following items this month: paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, shampoo, toothpaste, condiments, and coffee and tea.
“I’m hoping to be overwhelmed by the community’s support,” Burany said. “We’ll have a sign at both doors, so come fill your cart and stop by our table on your way out.”
Inspiration
Burany said she was inspired to start Kidz for Kids because of a story she read a few years ago about a Bridgeport resident named Jeremy Rosa who collected almost 1,000 pounds of items for the Connecticut Food Bank in 2012.
“He’s one kid and he was able to do so much,” she said about the boy who started when he was seven years old.
“He’s definitely part of my inspiration with how much he’s done over the years.”
Using Jeremy’s example, she hopes to inspire her kids to do the same and give back to those in need.
“Nobody wants to see anybody go without food,” she said.
“I just want to thank Stop & Shop for being so accommodating and letting us collect in front of the store,” she added. “We wanted to make sure we could do this in the summer when food is needed for kids.”
More info
The Trumbull Food Pantry is at 23 Priscilla Place, off of Huntington Turnpike near the Bunny Fountain and the Fairchild-Nichols Library.
The food pantry is made available to Trumbull residents who meet the state’s financial criteria for public assistance. Eligibility is determined by the Trumbull Department of Social Services, located at the same address.
Trumbull residents in need of pantry services should call 203-452-5198 to set up an appointment.
Potential clients must show proof of Trumbull residency, and income and expenses of household at the initial appointment. Appointments are necessary, and the standard pantry hours are 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Pantry visits are limited to once a month.
Besides the assist summer food drive this weekend, donations may be dropped off during The Center at Priscilla Place building hours, which are 9 to 4 Monday through Friday.
If you are dropping off a large donation, please call notify the social services staff or email Jennifer at jgillis@trumbull-ct.gov or Jane at jhorton@trumbull-ct.gov.