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Family Centers' Staff, Volunteers, Donors Help Less Fortunate In Greenwich

Family Centers staffers Jenna DiPaola, left, and Kara O'Connor, center, are joined Monday by volunteer Jamie Overman of Bedford, N.Y., right, in preparing Thanksgiving baskets for needy families served by the organization.
Family Centers staffers Jenna DiPaola, left, and Kara O'Connor, center, are joined Monday by volunteer Jamie Overman of Bedford, N.Y., right, in preparing Thanksgiving baskets for needy families served by the organization. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Thanksgiving will be a little happier for some families in Greenwich and Stamford thanks to the generous gifts of others and the work of the Family Centers.

On Monday morning, staff and volunteers prepared 130 bags of food for families in need for the holidays.

"People are still struggling and some are too proud to ask for help," said Jennifer Flatow, director of community engagement for the Greenwich-based Family Centers.

The food items were donated by companies and individuals who decided to donate on their own or held food drives, she said.

As of Monday, 116 recipients had been identified through the organization's case managers, Flatow said. The recipients don't know that their case managers will be delivering the baskets.

"They are surprised and grateful when they receive it," she said.

Because the center doesn't want to give families any perishable food or items that might be past their sell by date, they asked donors to provide a gift card of at least $10 to a local grocery store to help a family buy a turkey.

"We're not in the food business, so everything that came in on Friday is out the door on Monday," she said.

Items such as pies that were donated to Family Centers will be delivered to a men's homeless shelter in Stamford.

If the family decides not to buy a turkey, they can use it for other purposes at the grocery store, Flatow said.

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