Program designed to raise money for state's hungry

SHELTON — Hunger knows no bounds and it crosses all sectors of the population from the largest most densely populated cities to the rural communities in Connecticut.  The drive to stamp out hunger is in full force from now through April 30 during the thirteenth annual Alan Shawn Feinstein $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger campaign.  This is the tenth year that Area Congregations Together (ACT) Spooner House and the Valley Food Bank Network has participated in the program designated to donate one million dollars to agencies dedicated to fighting hunger in America.

In 2009, ACT raised $35,000 in cash and nonperishable food donations during this campaign while $197 million was raised throughout the country during last year’s drive.  Last year ACT’s programs provided almost 104,000 meals to more than 6,000 valley residents, including 2,206 children, who may have otherwise gone without a meal.  This represents a 41 percent increase over the prior year, even higher than the Connecticut statewide average increase of 30 percent.

Only gifts of cash, checks or non-perishable food received by April 30 will count towards the Valley Food Bank total used to determine the amount of funds they will be able to receive from Mr. Feinstein’s challenge grant. Non-perishable food donated will be valued at $1 per item.  The larger the contribution received by ACT, the greater the amount of Feinstein funds to be received by ACT.  The Feinstein million dollars will be divided proportionately among all agencies complying with the food drive formula.  There will be a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $40,000 given to participating agencies.  A full report of the results of this 2010 challenge will be posted on the ACT website by July.

“This year, we are seeing another increase in the number of people needing food assistance,” commented Susan Agamy, executive director of ACT and the Valley Food Bank Network.  “As a result of job losses and the poor economy, many of these households are seeking assistance for the first time.  Others are coming in for food because a health issue, resulting in high medical expenses, has forced people to choose between medication and food.  The good news is that right now, thanks to the Feinstein challenge, you can maximize your contribution dollars to reduce hunger here in the valley,” concluded Agamy.

To help ACT raise money and food donations while this matching grant is in effect, please mail checks, payable to: Area Congregations Together, Inc., Spooner House, 30 Todd Road, Shelton, CT 06484.
Donations may also be made via PayPal by clicking on the Donate button on the ACT website www.act-spooner.org
.   Deliveries of non-perishable food items are accepted at the above location Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Donors may also call 203-225-0453 to set up a special time for non-perishable food delivery.

In Ansonia, donations for the ACT Food Bank may be brought to the office at Christ Episcopal Church,  56 Cliff Street Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or call 203-734-2715 to arrange for drop offs.

The $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger is an effective, grassroots effort to fight hunger in America.  Founded in 1991 by Alan Shawn Feinstein, a philanthropist from Cranston, RI, the Feinstein Foundation is dedicated to charity endeavors focused on the alleviation of hunger and the significance of the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood in the community service sector.  Feinstein’s past $1 million challenges to fight hunger have raised a record $1 billion, 137 million for 2,000 agencies nationwide. Mr. Feinstein’s goal is simple; he believes no one, not one person, should go without adequate food.

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