For the second year in a row, United Way of Western Connecticut is collecting donations to provide complete, fully cooked Thanksgiving dinners, prepared by The Amber Room Colonnade, to Danbury families in need. Called the Thanksgiving Pay-It-Forward Campaign, this effort is one of many efforts by United Way of Western Connecticut to address food insecurity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Amber Room is cooking delicious traditional family feasts―with a turkey, side dishes, and dessert―for customers to pick up by on November 24, 2021 (the day before Thanksgiving). In addition to the meals they are preparing for local paying customers, they are working with United Way to prepare Thanksgiving feasts for families in need. The beneficiary families are being identified by Danbury Public Schools.
Contributions in any amount will be accepted through Friday, November 19, and will go directly toward the purchase of Thanksgiving dinners for struggling families. A contribution of $175 will sponsor a meal for 6 to 10 people. Donations can be made by clicking here or by texting AMBERROOM to 71777 (message and data rates may apply).
“We’re grateful that Doug Polistena and his incredible team at The Amber Room have offered once again to help Danbury families in need have a bountiful Thanksgiving this year,” said Isabel Almeida, president of United Way of Western Connecticut. “This is the time of year when we reflect on our blessings and think about paying it forward. We are hoping to support at least 40 families this year and appeal to the greater Danbury community to help us make that happen. Together we can make Thanksgiving warmer for our neighbors in need.”
“Once again, The Amber Room is truly thankful and humbled for the incredible generosity of our community. The past 20 months have taught us quite a lot, but perhaps the most important lesson learned is that we can truly move mountains when we all come together. It is more than just one person, one company, one organization, but rather a collaboration of many,” said Doug Polistena, General Manager of the Amber Room Colonnade. “We are proud to be a part of this campaign and look forward to providing meals to those in need. Please keep in mind during this holiday season that although it may seem that things are turning a corner, there are still many who need our help. We thank you for your generosity and kindness and wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, United Way of Western Connecticut has increased its efforts to address food insecurity in hardworking, struggling families called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained).
It has enrolled more than 500 families in its Healthy Savings program, which has provided $130,000 in free, fresh produce and deep grocery discounts each week to participants. It has also helped to distribute more than 130,000 pounds of food to more than 3,000 people at Danbury High School on Saturdays during August, September, and October, in partnership with Connecticut Foodshare, Walnut Hill Community Pantry, and the City of Danbury. It increased funding to local food pantries and has conducted large-scale community food drives. United Way also serves as the backbone support to the Danbury Food Collaborative.