This weekend: Make a difference, have fun at Harvest House

Valley United Way has already collected 1 million meals for people in need. What will you do to help?

Make a difference in the community at Harvest House V on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29, to take place at the Shelton Riverwalk, 100 Canal St., Shelton.

Harvest House is a biannual festival during which a 400-square-foot house is constructed out of shelves and filled with more than 100,000 nonperishable food items. The food that is collected is then distributed to food banks serving Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour.

This year marks its fifth year and during the past four Harvest Houses, over one million meals have been provided to Valley families in need.

Community comes together

Like the classic idea of barn raising, in which a community comes together to build a barn so that one family can thrive, Harvest House utilizes the collective action of the community for the common good. Families in need, in turn, are able to thrive rather than go hungry.

According to the Connecticut Food Bank, 14.5% — or 520,350 Connecticut residents — are food insecure. You can make a difference in the lives of your neighbors just by donating a few cans of food.

Fun activities: Zoo animals to touch-a-truck

Do something good for the community and have fun at the same time. This year's festival will feature even more events than before.

There are lots of great activities for all, such as a visit from some animal friends from Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, face painting, arts and crafts, a comedy magic show, touch-a-truck, moon bounce, hula hoops, karate, dance, fitness and acting performances, Cub Scout Olympics, and live music.

CANtastic building competition

A CANtastic Construction Competition will be held, where teams can enter structures built out of nonperishable food items. The Girl Scouts, Liquid Lunch and the Shelton/Valley volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps will serve a Hot Diggity Dog and Harvest Soup Supper as well as a pancake breakfast.

Learn more about the events going and all about Harvest House at

Patricia Tarasovic is director of the Volunteer Center at the Valley United Way, a nonprofit agency that serves Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour. For information about the organization go to or, or call 203-926-9478.