"To me and to my agency and to my board, the most important thing is getting as much food on people's tables as possible."
A local non-profit will soon be feeding more families in need.
Person-to-Person in South Norwalk received a $20,000 grant Thursday morning from CHEFA, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
Senator Bob Duff, Mayor Richard Moccia and CHEFA's executive director were on hand outside the Christian Community Action Center as the check was presented to members of Person-to-Person.
"It's really an important grant because it means that we will be able to stretch our food costs across a greater spectrum, utilizing the food bank and we'll be able to get more food for families that really need it," said Person-to-Person executive director CeCi Maher.
Person-to-Person food pantries provide groceries for 9,000 families a year.
"We know that in the summer months when kids don't have access to breakfast or lunch in schools that these types of meals are going to be extremely important," said Duff. "And that money is going to be leveraged with other donations and other types of food that comes into here as well."
"We are the go-to emergency assistance agency in lower fairfield county. If we weren't here it would be very difficult for families to access the services that we are offering," said Maher. "We just want to be sure that we have enough food in our food pantry every day when we get anywhere from 20 to 30 families coming on a daily basis."
CHEFA provides $2 million a year in grants to non profits agencies, with emphasis on volunteer work. The agency generates loan servicing fees on the bond they issue, with clients paying an annual fee.
"A number of years ago, we went back to them and said rather than returning money to you through fee rebates, would you allow us to provide grants for worthwhile purposes," said CHEFA executive director Jeffery Asher. "So then back in 2003, we started that program and to date we probably funded about $16 million in grants."
"We know we're trying to get the economy back on track and we see positive signs, but there's still an awful lot of people who need help right now and this is really going to help out a lot."