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Greenwich Caterers Give the Gift of Food

Frank Carpenteri Jr. and his sister Tina of Garden Catering were taught one simple rule by their father -- give back. “It’s not just the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. The people who walk into your store every day, that’s your community,” said Frank. “Especially dealing with food, it touches people in a different way than a lot of things, and we have the opportunity in the business we are in to really touch someone’s life.”

Garden Catering has boxes to fill in each of its eight locations in lower Fairfield and Westchester counties, including its flagship store at 185 ½ Sound Beach Ave. and at its 177 Hamilton Ave. store.

The food will be donated to Greenwich-based Kids in Crisis , a nonprofit that provides counseling, emergency shelter and educational programs for children, and to The Domus Foundation , a nonprofit based in Stamford dedicated to helping the region’s vulnerable youth through charter schools, residential programs and community programs.

“The canned food drive has been good, but it hasn’t been great because we’ve been going back to a lot of different organizations, so sometimes you stretch yourselves too thin,” said Frank. “We’re planning to extend the food drive into January.”

“[Kids in Crisis] was excited to have something after the holidays. When the excitement and hustle and bustle of giving ends, we can come and say, ‘We have more stuff!’ ” said Tina.

In addition to the food drive, Garden Catering is raising funds by selling gift cards and custom ties made by Vineyard Vines that feature the logo for Garden Catering’s signature dish, the High School Special. Half the cost of the ties, sold at $65 a pop, will go to Streets International , a Southeast Asian nonprofit close to Carpenteri’s heart  that helps disadvantaged youths attain hospitality jobs. The other half will go to So Far 2 Go, an environmental advocacy group founded by two Brunswick Students, David Jaramillo and Corey Kupersmith.

So far, more than $3,000 has been raised for the two groups from sales of the ties and gift cards at Garden Catering. “Our dad always instilled in us a sense of community, and growing up here, living here, being part of the community, it lends itself to being an awesome feeling to just give back,” said Tina.

Be part of the conversation: what are some other notable food drives and fundraisers in Greenwich for the holiday and winter season? Let us know by commenting below or email ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us.

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