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Mutual Aid of Norwalk fills in the gaps

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A staggering number of families in our area are experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19. We all want to help, but many of us don’t know where to begin. I wanted to call your attention to a wonderful grassroots organization called “Mutual Aid/Ayuda Mutua” in Norwalk that has recently come about to help the most vulnerable people in need.

Mutual Aid is the brainchild of a local Norwalk resident, Lauren Mallet, who works in healthcare. Lauren learned of a few families who were unable to secure groceries at the beginning stage of the pandemic, so she went and shopped for them herself. Before long, the effort grew to include other families, then a team of volunteers to manage the effort, and Mutual Aid was born. The group can connect people to emotional well-being support, access to basic necessities and food items, prescription pick-ups as well as providing connections to professionals who can answer health questions.

To support expansions to help even more families, Northeast Community Church was kind enough to donate warehouse space to the new group. Their first coordinated food delivery effort provided groceries to 40 families, and their last effort on May 23rd doubled that figure to 80 families. Still, there are more families added to the list every day. They collect food donations at their donated space at 3 Brook St. (located in the parking lot behind Knight Street) as well as monetary donations, which go towards purchasing items very efficiently at Restaurant Depot and other bulk suppliers.

Mutual Aid still needs many more donations to ensure no Norwalker ever goes hungry. More and more families are referred every day, either locally or through broader social service organizations. Lots of local nonprofits have been stepping up and doing a wonderful job to help, however, even with these organizations doing all they can, there is still a gap. Mutual Aid serves to fill in these gaps, with neighbors helping neighbors. If you are interested in helping during the month of June, Mutual Aid is asking Norwalkers to host their own community-based “Fill-A-Trunk Food Drive” to help them fulfill their food and hygiene product needs for the month of June. For more information, visit www.norwalkmutual.org/ways-to-help

There are several ways to contact Mutual Aid if you’d like to help, donate, or to request assistance:

  • Website: http://www.norwalkmutualaid.org
  • Facebook Group: Mutual Aid/Ayuda Mutua Norwalk CT
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Hotline: (224) 334-3233
  • Venmo:  NorwalkMutualAid
  • Needs: Cash or Venmo donations, rice, beans, meat, peanut butter, jelly
    Bread, cereal, snacks, baby wipes, laundry detergent, cleaning products, baby food, pet food
  • Drop Off Info: In-person donations are collected at 3 Brook St. from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Pickups can be arranged, please contact Mutual Aid to schedule a pickup.

 

Jill Arvanitis

One comment

Jill Arvanitis June 7, 2020 at 1:56 pm

Just note that going forward, food collections will be EVERY OTHER TUESDAY, no longer every Tuesday. Generally the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. In June it will be 6/9 and 6/23.
Thanks!!

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