House of Hope Food Drive runs through Nov. 13

St. Vincent’s Health Services  and Aquarion Water Company launched the 5th annual “House of Hope” Food Drive, through Nov. 13. In an effort to fight hunger with healthy foods, the organizers ask that only nutritious, non-perishable, non-expired items be donated.

Donations may be dropped off at the House of Hope, a special shed located at the entrance to St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, for the duration of the drive.

This year’s collection will benefit The Spooner House in Shelton, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, The Thomas Merton Center, St. Vincent’s Family Health Center, and the Port Five Naval Veterans organization. All branches of the armed forces belong to Port Five, which will redistribute donated food to other veterans’ organizations. Plans call for Port Five to use the turkeys donated to host dinners for veterans in need.

Highlighting Healthy Donations

For the first time, the House of Hope committee is taking a step beyond simply collecting foodstuffs by attempting to educate both recipients and donors alike about healthy food choices. The committee, in conjunction with local organizations Get Healthy CT and the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, has provided suggestions for healthier food donations on the back of all flyers announcing the drive. These choices include low-sodium canned vegetables, soups, stews and pasta sauces, canned fruits, fish and meats, whole wheat pasta, low sugar cereals, peanut butter with no sugar or hydrogenated oils, and powdered milk, among other readily available items.

“We are happy to once again partner with Aquarion to help bring food to so many underserved individuals and families in our region,” said St. Vincent’s Health Services President and CEO Stuart G. Marcus, MD, FACS. “We are also excited to help people in the area eat healthier and prevent chronic conditions associated with poor nutritional options. Our employees and the public have displayed great generosity and enthusiasm for this project, which aligns with the mission entrusted to us by the Daughters of Charity to serve those who are poor and vulnerable.”

“In our community, we all require assistance at different times,” said Charles V. Firlotte, President and CEO of Aquarion Water Company. “Between now and the year-end holidays, we are delighted to partner with St Vincent’s so we can make this season a bit brighter for families and veterans.”

Serving this year as co-chairpersons are Lucille Bentley, RN, and Kareem Wali of St. Vincent’s and Carolyn Giampe of Aquarion.

Monetary donations also are accepted and will be turned into double the amount in food purchases thanks to the generosity of Big Y in Monroe, which is continuing its “buy one get one” support. Stew Leonard’s again will be donating turkeys to the House of Hope.

People wishing to make a monetary donation to the House of Hope may do so at the hospital information desk. Gift cards to grocery stores also will be accepted.

For more information, contact at St. Vincent’s: Lucille Bentley at 203-576-5130 or Kareem Wali at 203-576-5221; at Aquarion: Carolyn Giampe at 203-337-5908.

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