Friday morning Randolph Bond was at the Keefe Community Center, loading up a second round of food boxes in the back of his pick-up truck.
“Thirty boxes on my last trip,” said Bond.
He’s delivering the boxes from the “Farmers to Families” program to people he knows around Hamden, who, eight months in to the coronavirus pandemic, could use the extra help.
“One lady almost cried, and it’s just a very good feeling to do this and that’s enough for me,” said Bond.
He’s using his own time to make the trips because he’s unemployed himself.
“There are so many people going through a lot right now, and I really feel if I can be supportive, why not?”
The Keefe Community Center was one of many organizations across the state to join the USDA’s Farmer’s to Families program, which has delivered 100 million boxes nationwide since the spring.
Throughout October, 32 truckloads of the boxes each week will be delivered from Delaware’s Vincent Farms to sites across the state. The first delivery to Keefe Community Center on Friday was 1,100 boxes which totaled 12 tons of food. They’ll distribute them every Friday in October.
“It’s very helpful, it helps to take the edge off especially when you have children,” said Lois Greene of Hamden.
“I think it’s great, some people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to buy all the things that they need,” said Brandy Austin.
Connecticut is a high priority state for the federal boxes. Each contain 22 pounds of fresh produce, dairy and meats. The 1,100 boxes were gone by 1 p.m. which some say is a sign of the ongoing need during the pandemic.
“It made us feel good that if they needed two boxes or three boxes we had the capability of doing so,” said Y’Isiah Lopes of the Keefe Community Center.
The partnership caught Lopes by surprise. He said he was nervous about how 18 pallets of boxes would get handed out. He called out for help, and many, like Bond, answered.
“They really appreciate it and I feel good about it,” said Bond.