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Rep. Marra, Friends Pack Lunch Bags to Help Filling in the Blanks

Posted on September 13, 2023

Concerned with food insecurity, especially among Connecticut’s children, State Representative Tracy Marra (R-141) and more than 20 of her friends gladly teamed up to help children in need by volunteering with Filling in the Blanks in Norwalk.

The energetic volunteer crew spent about two hours working alongside professional staff to ensure donated supplies to create weekend meal kits that included food, snacks, and other items were placed into strong plastic bags that will be distributed to children in need in local schools, free of charge.

“I have been impressed with Filling in the Blanks’ ability to bring people together to meet a distinct need in our community and I am thrilled we were able to help their mission of providing much-needed supplies to children throughout Norwalk, Darien and the surrounding area,” Rep. Marra said. “The food and supplies are a lifeline to so many and I want to thank Filling in the Blanks for their commitment to children, and for their continued success.”

According to the organization, Filling in the Blanks is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2013 by mothers and community activists, Shawnee Knight and Tina Kramer, as a way to marry their loves of community, children, food and charity.  They currently serve more than 200 sites around Fairfield and Westchester Counties and have delivered more than two million-weekend meals to children in low-income households. Ninety nine percent of their food is purchased with money raised through grants, donations, and fundraisers.  Their major fundraising event, the “Plates With Purpose Gala” will be held on September 23, 2023 at the Loading Dock in Stamford.

Currently, they’re serving more than 5,500 children but expect the need to grow to 7,000 before the end of the year, a Volunteer Coordinator said. Each meal bag contains one of three rotating menus with food valued at approximately $10.  Last night, the group packed menu #2, which consisted of a name brand milk, tuna, corn, pancake mix, macaroni and cheese, apple sauce, fruit cup, yogurt, granola bar, and small bag of Goldfish crackers.

At the end of their shift, Rep. Marra and her incredible volunteer crew completed 540 take home meal bags.

For the upcoming holiday season, Rep. Marra is planning to organize a board game collection event to provide new copies of the game “Sorry” for inclusion in their Holiday Backpack donation that provides students with a new, sturdy backpack filled with food, a game and activities for the holiday break.

For more information, or to volunteer, please go to: https://www.fillingintheblanks.org/aboutus