The year was 1968. Gas cost 34 cents a gallon, a movie ticket was $1.50, the top song was \u201cHey Jude\u201d by The Beatles, and an organization opened in Darien called Person-to-Person. Now, 50 years later, P2P \u2014 which serves Wilton from \u00a0locations in Norwalk, Stamford and Darien \u2014 is a thriving nonprofit, charitable community-supported agency that provides year-round emergency assistance to those in need. \u201cWe are a basic needs agency and we provide food, clothing and financial assistance, send kids to camp in the summer while their parents work, and provide college scholarships,\u201d said Ceci Maher, executive director of P2P. \u201cWe serve 24,000 people a year across three sites.\u201d Person-to-Person serves people throughout Lower Fairfield County including Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport and Wilton. When touring Person-to-Person in Darien on a recent Friday morning, the first word that comes to mind \u2014 no matter where one goes inside and outside of the building \u2014 is busy. The office contains a food pantry, clothing center, and back office support staff. Whether it\u2019s taking donations off trucks, sorting bags of clothing and putting them on hangers, placing food on shelves, filling out paperwork, or answering phones, dozens of volunteers are using every minute of their time. As a \u201csituational crisis emergency response agency,\u201d people make an appointment and bring in their budget worksheets, including proof of residency, expenses, and current needs, said Maher, a Wilton resident. Each client is seen on a one-on-one, confidential basis. Most of the people who receive assistance from P2P are the working poor, according to Maher. \u201cWe are a program that wants to makes sure families stay together, their eviction gets prevented, and their lights stay on,\u201d Maher said. \u201cWe are trying to create a stable community so families can thrive.\u201d P2P works with schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Weight Watchers, Rotarys, churches, and companies to help raise money and collect food. Ninety-six students are going to college this year because of P2P. \u201cWe fill the gap between their financial aid package and what else they need,\u201d Maher said. PTP receives close to 60,000 bags of clothes a year. The community donates $10 million worth of food and clothing annually to P2P. \u201cThere are angels in the community,\u201d Maher said. Person-to-Person recently completed a coat drive, giving out 1,300 coats within several hours. For Thanksgiving, P2P served 950 families with everything they needed to make their own meals. Mobile food pantry In April, Person-to-Person began a mobile food pantry in Stamford. \u201cFood insecurity in Stamford is quite large,\u201d Maher said. \u201cWe wanted to address the issues for families and children who can\u2019t access food, so we went out and we bought this 32-feet-long bread truck. It has a caseworker office in the front. On the back is the food pantry.\u201d The pantry has freezers and refrigerators, and offers fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, bread, produce and frozen meat. Clients get seven days\u2019 worth of food on the truck, which includes 21 meals for each person in the family. \u201cIt\u2019s about bringing the services closer to the neighborhoods where they live,\u201d she said. \u201cWhen we started in April, we had 10 families a day utilizing the food pantry, and we are now up to 48 families.\u201d History P2P started after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\u2019s death. Parish leaders wanted to do something in response to the assassination, and respond to civil rights issues, according to Maher. \u201cWe started with a closet of food and a closet of clothing, at St. Luke\u2019s,\u201d said Tracy Cramer, chief philanthropy officer. \u201cThe first fall, someone came in and asked for $25 to pay for her books, and that was the start of the scholarship program,\u201d Cramer added that the following summer, someone came in and asked for help with emergency assistance, and this started the financial assistance program. \u201cThen, the founders asked what\u2019s happening for the kids in the summertime. How can their parents work if the kids are not in school?\u201d Maher said. \u201cThat started the campership program.\u201d Many people who have received services from P2P have returned to volunteer or make a donation, according to Maher. \u201cOn one occasion, someone came in and gave us a check for $200 because we had given it to them years ago, and they wanted to pay it forward,\u201d Maher said. \u201cThe whole idea is we are helping those who just want to do better and provide a better life for their children,\u201d Maher said. \u201cWe help them at a time that\u2019s difficult.\u201d Information: 203-655-0048 or p2phelps.org.