For the third year in a row, the employees of Joseph Merritt Company continue to raise awareness of hunger issues throughout the Hartford, CT area by sponsoring an annual food drive.
The food drive concluded on the Friday before Thanksgiving in an effort to help round out the Thanksgiving meals and help restock the shelves at local food pantries after the Thanksgiving rush. Last year the company collected and donated 1,141 items and this year they are happy to report that they have donated 1,262 items. The food was distributed to five locations near each of the company’s branches: MANNA Community Pantry in Hartford, Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury, CT Food Bank in East Haven, Amos House in Providence, RI, and Council of Social Concern Food Pantry in Woburn, MA.
Giving back to the communities is something Merritt takes pride in. Each year Merritt sponsors charitable events supporting education, health, and social concerns. Connecticut Food Bank reports that 1 in 7 households do not have the means to provide for the food they need. Food insecurity is a phrase used by the USDA to describe lack of consistent access to adequate amounts of food for an active, healthy life. The Child Food Insecurity 2014 Study shows that more than 155,000 Connecticut children are food insecure. This translates to one in five Connecticut children not knowing when their next meal will be. The study also reports a large portion of these children come from homes that do not qualify for federal or state assistance.
Similar to last year Ed Perry, President and CEO of Joseph Merritt Company, added a little friendly competition and an incentive for employees to donate. “We offered cash prizes for the top three contributors. We did it last year and it added some entertainment– last year’s winner only won by one item.” This year’s top contributor was Alyssa at the New Haven branch with a grand total of 608 items. “Our employees are good people and they are happy to give back to our communities regardless of the added motivation,” said Perry.