Sacred Heart provides Thanksgiving meals for neighbors


Sacred Heart University students help to distribute Thanksgiving turkeys at St. Charles Parish in Bridgeport on Nov. 26. Shown, from left, are Kimberly Rooney, Cory Rivera and Marisa Carpanzano. (Tracey Deer-Mirek photo)

Sacred Heart University’s Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning organized a non-perishable food drive during the month of November to help ensure that area residents did not go without on Thanksgiving. Numerous offices/departments, teams, clubs and residence halls collected food for the drive.

In addition, Kappa Sigma fraternity conducted a food drive two weeks ago at a local Stop & Shop to collect food and monetary donations to help purchase additional non-perishable items.

With the help of Chartwell’s Dining Services, the food was transported to St. Charles Parish in Bridgeport on Nov. 26, said Megan Houlihan-Aceto, associate director of the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning. She estimates that enough food was collected to provide more than 500 bags of Thanksgiving “fixings” for families in need.

The Sacred Heart community also donated enough money to purchase 800 turkeys through Student Government’s annual turkey drive. The turkeys were delivered to St. Charles Parish, as well as additional locations in Bridgeport.

Student volunteers worked throughout the day on Tuesday sorting food and handing out meals to families at St. Charles. More than 1,200 Thanksgiving meals (frozen turkey and bag of food) were handed out between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., when donations from other organizations, such as Fairfield University, were added in.

Chartwell’s was also on hand to serve hot chocolate out of its food truck to the families waiting in the long line to receive their food.

“This was an extremely generous thing for Chartwell’s to do on behalf of Sacred Heart, and it was greatly appreciated by the families waiting out in the cold,” Houlihan-Aceto said. “Anyone at Sacred Heart who contributed to the food and/or turkey drive can be sure their efforts were appreciated.”

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