Hands on Hartford isn’t new to the city, but the organization just moved into a brand new facility in the Parkville neighborhood.
The volunteers do a lot of good, but one of their biggest missions is to make sure no child goes home hungry.
Hands on Hartford Center for Community was founded in 1969 under another name, but the agency has continued to help the less fortunate in various locations.
"In the past 15 years, the agency used to serve - I'd say, 100 clients a month. Now, its going up to 500 clients a month,” said Rosa Santiago, who is the community pantry coordinator.
She has been running the pantry for 15 years and as the demand for food has grown, so has the need for housing.
The new facility, built mostly with grant money, also has 13 apartments for people who once struggled to find a place to live.
"You know, somebody comes because they want food, that's an entree to us - then we talk to them. How are you doing? How did you get here? How's your housing situation,” said Kate Shafer, of Hands on Hartford.
She said they’ll help more people now and hopefully expand a critical program for children.
During the school year, volunteers work with five schools to fill backpacks with food for 309 children who don’t have access to meals on the weekend.
They fill the bags and deliver them each Friday.
"It has enough for two breakfasts and two lunches and snacks - then they bring the empty backpacks back on Monday, we get them back and fill them up again for the following Friday,” Shafer said.
They rely on help from churches, other organizations, and individuals.
Anyone can help them fulfill their mission by clicking here to make a donation.
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