Church volunteers feed Norwalk children

Summer’s here, and the time is right for feeding hungry children, according to volunteers at the Wilton Congregational Church.

The volunteers, led by Giff Broderick, chairman of the Board of Mission and Service at the church, made 240 sandwiches for the poor children of Norwalk every morning this past week, and packed them in a brown paper bag together with fruit, crackers and a juice drink.

They also provided the funds to pay for breakfast for the children, who are enrolled in summer school and come from families who struggle to pay for breakfast and lunch for the kids themselves.

They are the children of the Bridgeport Rescue Mission Summer School Lunch program.

“During the school year, they get their lunch from the state of Connecticut, but that stops for the 11 weeks they are out of school,” said Broderick, who said the volunteers also bring the lunch to the kids in Norwalk each day.

“Today, we’re making turkey and cheese sandwiches,” he said on June 28. “We give them packets of mayonnaise and mustard with that.”

The church volunteers buy the groceries to make the lunches at a discount price from the Village Market, he said. The program costs them $2,500.

“It gives me a good feeling to do this,” said volunteer Emily Assef, 16, who will be a junior in September at Wilton High School.

She spends several hours each morning volunteering at the church, preparing the sandwiches.

“Fortunately, I’ve never experienced being hungry without food, but I feel compassionate and want to help them,” Emily said.

Eleven churches in the region participate in the program. Each church volunteers to make and deliver the meals for one week during the summer.

“Some churches make the sandwiches for the whole week on a Sunday and store them, but we make the sandwiches fresh every morning,” said Broderick.