United Way: Stamford-Area Food Response to COVID-19

United Way remains committed to serving our community and especially our neighbors living paycheck-to-paycheck who are vulnerable in times of uncertainty.

United Way of Western Connecticut shares your deep concern for the health and well-being of our community, particularly the impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable residents, and provides you with important information below on available food assistance resources and opportunities for individuals and organizations to support community needs.

Food System Community Response

Senior Outreach Program - If you are a senior in need please call (203) 977-7919

School Meals

Stamford Public Schools will provide free grab and go meals from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 3-days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), distributing multiple meals each day.

  • Monday (two breakfast and two lunch meals per student)
  • Wednesday (two breakfast and two lunch meals per student)
  • Friday (three breakfast and three lunch meals per student).

Anyone age 18 or under can obtain meals at any of the following locations:

Elementary Schools

  • Davenport Ridge, 1300 Newfield Ave.
  • Hart Magnet, 61 Adams Ave.
  • Julia A. Stark, 398 Glenbrook Rd.
  • K.T. Murphy, 19 Horton St.
  • Newfield, 345 Pepper Ridge Rd
  • Northeast, 82 Scofieldtown Rd.
  • Rogers International School, 202 Blachley Rd.
  • Roxbury, 751 West Hill Rd.
  • Springdale, 1127 Hope St.
  • Stillmeadow, 800 Stillwater Rd.
  • Strawberry Hill, an extension of Rogers International School, 200 Strawberry Hill Ave.
  • Westover Magnet @ 1 Elmcroft Road

Middle Schools

  • Dolan, 51 Toms Rd.
  • Rippowam, 381High Ridge Rd.

Community-Based Organizations and Programs 

  • SPS Anchor at Harbor Landing @ 68 Southfield Avenue
  • Yerwood Center, 90 Fairfield Ave.
  • Chester Addison Center, 245 Selleck St.
  • Trailblazer (Domus), 83 Lockwood Ave.
  • Faith Tabernacle Church, 29 Grove Street

Food Pantries

Members of the Stamford Food Collaborative which includes providers of critical food assistance services, including food pantries, congregate meal programs, and meal delivery programs, are implementing safety and hygiene precautions to protect the health of participants, volunteers, and staff. Pantries have transitioned from choice pantry models to pre-packed bags, adjusting sign-in and other operational processes to allow social distancing, and enhancing sanitizing practices. To find resources in Stamford, The Stamford Food Collaborative’s Guide to Accessing Food can be accessed in English and SpanishPlease call ahead to determine whether operating hours have changed for food pantries or other programs.

Please note that Faith Tabernacle Food Pantry is closed during this crisis.

The Connecticut Food Bank Mobile Pantry Schedule will be continuously updated here:

http://www.ctfoodbank.org/get-help/connecticut-food-banks-mobile-pantry-schedule/

Congregate Meal Programs

New Covenant Center Café is closed lunch and dinner meals will still be distributed on a bagged or boxed, meal-to-go basis.

Home Deliveries

The Stamford Senior Center will be coordinating delivery of prepared frozen meals to any senior 60 years of age and older who was previously relying on the congregate meal program at the Stamford Senior Center or the Over 60 Club. Contact Christina Crain at 203-977-5151 or by email ccrain@stamfordct.gov

Catholic Charities Senior Nutrition Program Meals on Wheels 
Catholic Charities can receive referrals for their Meals on Wheels program for homebound seniors, 60+ years. They deliver pre-packaged single or double meals delivered for up to 7 days per week. They will review new referrals on a case by case basis.  If the individual is geographically located on or near an existing delivery route and at minimum meets the 60+ age requirement they will consider delivering. 203-324-6175

SilverSource
SilverSource is planning for a major expansion in food delivery to seniors.
For isolated quarantined seniors, they can be added to the SilverSource Telephone Call Well Check list. Staff or volunteers will call to see how they are doing, and if they need support. Call to ask to be added to their list of seniors: 203-324-6584

SNAP

End Hunger Connecticut!’s SNAP call center remains in full operation to help residents with applications, redeterminations, and other assistance for SNAP. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you may need to leave a message. English and Spanish support. 866-974-7627. Check hours and more information at www.ctsnap.org

Grocery Stores

Some stores are adjusting their hours to accommodate older adults or people with underlying health conditions:

  • Grade A ShopRite Supermarkets in Stamford will reserve 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for customers 65 and older
  • Stop & Shop stores will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. daily.
  • Acme Markets will reserve 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday for customers 60 and older.
  • Laroccas Supermarket will reserve 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. for customers 60 and older.
  • Target will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests – including elderly and those with underlying health concerns.
  • Whole Foods: customers who are 60 and older will be able to shop at stores in the US and Canada one hour before opening time for the general public. For instance, if a store's posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., these older customers can come in starting at 8:00 a.m
  • Walmart: From March 24 through April 28, Walmart will hold an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens.

Please note that grocery stores may experience shortages of food and are working hard to continually restock supplies.

The Stamford Food Collaborative will continue to convene community partners digitally to share resources, best practices, and updates as the situation evolves.

Food Assistance Resources for Local Residents

Community Support is Critical.

Stamford area residents and organizations interested in supporting their community’s COVID-19 food assistance response are encouraged to:

  • Support food assistance providers in your community. See Guide to Accessing Food in Stamford for a complete list of community providers.
  • Donate
    • Donate to the Stamford Food Collaborative to help support this network of food pantries, congregate meal providers and related  food system agencies and partners who work together to serve our community's most vulnerable, food-insecure residents. Or check out the Guide to Accessing Food in Stamford for a list of agencies providing emergency relief that you may contact directly.
    • Donate to the ALICE Emergency Fund of United Way of Western Connecticut. This fund will expand the ability of individuals and families to purchase fresh produce through our Healthy Savings Program. Participants in the program will receive $20 of fresh produce for free each week for six weeks at participating grocery stores, with the flexibility to extend depending on the availability of funds.  
    • Donate to the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund. United Ways across the state have created this fund to rapidly deploy financial resources to individuals and families economically affected by the pandemic.
    • Contact organizations for specific needs, including unused grocery bags, sanitizing equipment, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
    • Contact Food Rescue US to donate surplus food (food prepared in a licensed kitchen, that has not been served to the public).
  • Volunteer
    • Contact locations directly for volunteering information or visit our Get Connected portal which is being updated with volunteer and agency needs.
    • Stamford Together: Many Stamford residents are in need at this time. In partnership with the Office of the Mayor, Board of Representatives President, Matthew Quinones announced a citywide volunteer program to help support the emergency response efforts related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The volunteer program, referred to as, “Stamford Together,” has begun to recruit volunteers to support five active initiatives: Senior Outreach Program, SPS Grab and Go Program, Testing Site Volunteer Program, Resident Delivery Program, Medical Reserve Corps.  Stamford Together Volunteer Phone line is 203-977-5850 and will be staffed 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Support your neighbors
    • Call neighbors, particularly those who are limiting public interaction or might already experience isolation, such as seniors and housebound individuals, to check on their food supplies and offer to pick up groceries or supplies if needed. Take precaution to protect your and the recipient's health when delivering to someone’s home, plan to stand six feet away from the door. 
    • Follow usual food safety guidelines when preparing food for others, including (courtesy of the Community Food Rescue Food Safety guidelines):
      • If you are sick, or starting to feel unwell, do not prepare food for, or serve food to, others. If someone else in your household is sick, avoid taking food to people outside your home.
      • Wear a waterproof bandage if you have a cut.
      • Wash hands and exposed arms up to your elbows with warm water and soap before handling food.
      • Wash hands again if you do any of the following: use the restroom, smoke, touch your hair, face, clothes or body, blow your nose, sneeze, cough, handle raw meat or eggs, touch your cellphone or other device, eat or drink, or use cleaning chemicals.
      • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum near exposed food.
  • Support local businesses
    • When shopping for food and other supplies, buy from local businesses whenever possible as the negative economic impacts of this outbreak will severely affect our small businesses and their employees in the months to come. Local restaurants often sell gift cards online that can be purchased now and used to dine out or as a gift at a later date.

Please visit this page for continued updates, or United Way's COVID-19 Resource page for information  including mental health resources, educational resources (including for students with special needs and learning differences). Through our social media and listservs, we will continue to serve as a communications pathway to relevant information about available resources, advisories, and response support opportunities. 

Additional Resources:

Sincerely,

Cara Mitchell
Food Policy Manager
United Way of Western Connecticut
cara.mitchell@uwwesternct.org