Wilton editorials - Hunger, It's a plan

Not being able to cook dinner because you didn’t have time to stop at the market is a first-world problem.

Not having something to eat because there is nothing is a real problem. When hunger affects children, it’s more than a problem. It’s an emergency. It’s a tragedy.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there are 821 million people on this planet who do not get the food they need to live a healthy life. With nearly 21 percent of its population so affected, Africa has the highest prevalence of undernourishment. Malnutrition is the single largest contributor to disease in the world.

In Somalia, a severe drought and ongoing armed conflict are adversely affecting the availability of food in that country, according to Action Against Hunger. The organization says 363,000 children suffer from malnutrition. Many of them are not expected to see their fifth birthday.

The needs are immense, too big for a single solution, but steps like the meal-packaging event that will take place here on Saturday, Oct. 20, can make a small, but definite difference. Because of the efforts that will come from some 700 volunteers converging on St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church that day, 400 children will have at least one nourishing meal every day for a year.

The cost is ridiculously small on an individual level — 31 cents — but considerable when multiplied by the 150,000 meals needed to feed those little ones for a year — more than $46,000.

The program is run by the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee — Wi-ACT — made up of Wilton’s 11 faith institutions — Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim. This is the eighth year the group is working with the hunger relief organization Rise Against Hunger.

The meals that will be packaged here in Wilton will be shipped out immediately and then prepared and served to the children in their schools.

Volunteers for Oct. 20 are welcome. You can sign up at https://signup.com/go/DgwPRzi. It’s hard to think of how to help more people in such a short amount of time as two hours. Donations are also welcome and may be made online at http://events.riseagainsthunger.org/WIACT-Wilton-CT10-19-19.

It’s a plan

Earlier this month, Wilton’s Plan of Conservation and Development for the next 10 years became official. After more than a year of work that consumed hundreds of hours spent hearing from residents, reviewing survey results, and coordinating input from colleagues, the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission — along with the town’s planning and zoning department — deserve a huge outpouring of thanks from the community.

The plan is long at 137 pages, but it is detailed, as it should be. It is well put together, and easy to follow with its outline of goals, objectives and strategies for implementation. Overlapping are the main topics of nature and history, people and economy, and Wilton’s hardscape — it’s built environment.

Along with the way things are now and Wilton’s vision for the future, are some “open doors,” things yet to be settled, like a master plan for Cannondale and a master plan for Georgetown. Those wondering where future pockets of development might occur will find it in the POCD as will those wondering about future acquistions of open space and everything in between.

Augmenting all of this are a collection of interesting maps and charts outlining all aspects of the town. Best of all, the plan is online and available to everyone — as opposed to having to seek out a print or CD version of past POCDs. For people who like the CliffsNotes version of things, an executive summary will be forthcoming.

Future developers take note — this roadmap to Wilton’s future will be — to the diligent applicant — an advantage to those who aspire to find approval for a project here.