United Way Surprises Danbury Grocery Store Customers with Free Groceries


In an effort to help struggling, hardworking households, and inspire others to do the same, United Way performs random acts of kindness in Danbury.

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) spent the day Tuesday, February 9, paying for nearly $2,000 worth of groceries of random individuals and families at the PriceRite store on Main Street in Danbury, Conn. The gift from UWWC was made possible by the generosity of a donor who wanted to help struggling households directly. More than 40 customers were surprised at the check-out counter when UWWC CEO Kim Morgan approached them to pay for their groceries.

“It was heartwarming to see how much it meant to people to receive even the smallest gift of food,” said UWWC CEO Kim Morgan. “Even the cashiers, who very clearly had a personal connection to those being helped, were so appreciative and moved at the acts of kindness. We are grateful to PriceRite for letting us come into their store to surprise their customers. Their entire team was a pleasure to work with.”

UWWC works collaboratively in the community to bring together the people and resources needed to address the needs of hardworking individuals and families we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) a growing number of households who are working, yet living paycheck-to-paycheck, unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, childcare, health care and transportation.

The United Way ALICE Report revealed that 35% of Danbury residents go to work each day and still struggle to make ends meet. That means that thousands of individuals and families in our area dread going to the grocery store because of the stress and difficulty in stretching their limited dollars to feed their family. Every day, very difficult decisions are made in the aisles of grocery stores in the name of survival, of making it to the end of the month on a limited budget.

The random acts of kindness not only alleviated a little stress from the lives of those struggling, it also inspired some shoppers to pay it forward to others. From people who had just lost their job, to families who were taking food off of the conveyer belt due to lack of money to pay the whole bill, to a woman who was buying food to make meals for the homeless, the stories were both gut-wrenching and inspiring.

To capture the reactions of those receiving the acts of kindness, and to inspire others to do the same, a short video was filmed and produced pro bono courtesy of Scott Sniffen, accomplished director, producer and director of photography, of Sniffen Pictures in Southbury. “Local non-profits like UWWC can find it challenging to find funds to engage professional media services,” said Sniffen. “Sniffen Pictures is honored to help spread awareness regarding ALICE.” For more information on how to help, get help, and to view the video, please visit: www.uwwesternct.org/kindness.


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