Neighborhood turkey drive hits new heights

Fairfield-didomenico

Family and friends assembled and delivered 200 Thanksgiving dinners as part of a food drive started by the DiDomenico family nine years ago. (Kendra Wingate)

Nine years ago, Peter DiDomenico and his children bought turkeys from Stop & Shop and delivered them to a local food pantry because his daughter, Lily, was worried there wasn’t enough food there.

Little by little, over the years, friends and neighbors joined the effort, also supported by FOCUS, a nonprofit that raises money for children in need in Connecticut.

“Every year we added the kids’ friends, and afterward we’d go out for pizza,” Peter DiDomenico said. “You couldn’t get in the car and go with us for pizza if you didn’t donate food.”

This year, with help from friends and neighbors who have joined the effort over the years, the DiDomenicos exceeded their goal of matching last season by donating 150 complete dinners to area churches and food banks.

“We deliver the dinners to wonderful places — Kings Pantry in Bridgeport, the Daughters of Charity, the Easton Community Center, and Feed the Sheep,” DiDomenico said. “There are good stories behind each place, we get the kids involved and they’re understanding that people don’t have the same things that they have.”

More than 200 complete dinners were donated, assembled, packed in the driveway, and delivered, along with extra boxes of food, this Thanksgiving.

The amount of food has exceeded the capacity of the DiDomenicos’ SUV.

“I happen to have a bus in my company, so we now use that,” said Jeff Serlin, owner of Red Dot Limo and Serlin International Limousine. “It’s a lot of fun, good for the kids — trying to teach them something. And Peter does a great job.”

“This event is particularly enjoyable for parents, as you get to experience your children working toward helping others in need,” DiDomenico said. “It’s a great opportunity for our children to learn the true meaning of the holiday season, helping others that are less fortunate.”

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