Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) hosted the United Way’s annualStock the Pantry weigh-in at the Founders Hall Parking lot on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Scores of NVCC students, faculty and staff volunteered to collect and consolidate the food staples. President De Filippis asked Robert Sheftel, Director of NVCC’s Academic Center for Excellence and David Celotto, Bridge to College Division Director to organize the NVCC collection and volunteers. Kristen Jacoby, President/Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Greater Waterbury acknowledged NVCC for the unprecedented success of this event. “NVCC was instrumental in the success of our largest ‘Day of Action to Stock the Pantry’ ever. The campus served as the hub site for the event, where over 89,000 pounds of food was delivered by over 100 companies and organizations to support local food pantries and soup kitchens. We cannot thank NVCC enough for the location, volunteers and committed partnership!”
Local residents and community organizations drove into the Founders Hall Parking lot with cars and trucks overflowing with food that the volunteers loaded onto two trucks for the Connecticut Food Bank in an assembly line fashion. Volunteers included NVCC alumni, students, staff, and faculty; members of the community, members of the Waterbury Fire Department, and members of the United Way including Dr. Peter Jacoby and Frank Monteiro. The Honorable Neil M. O’Leary, Mayor of the City of Waterbury, also attended and showed his support.
All donated food helped to supply greater Waterbury food pantries throughout the summer months when students are not receiving lunch free or at a reduced cost through school lunch programs. NVCC has been working in partnership with the United Way for years to support community initiatives like this.
Fun, food and sportsmanship made light of the work on a hot first day of summer. The event featured a cookout, music, and a dunk tank where Jim O'Rourke, Executive Director of the Greater Waterbury YMCA, sported the attire and the spirit to provide a humorous diversion for the volunteers. Everyone seemed to agree, it was fun to dunk him!
NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., thanked the generous participants of this event in her weekly campus bulletin. “This was a powerful event, demonstrating how the greater Waterbury community comes together to support those less fortunate.”