FBRA Offers Guidance & Resources to Fairfielders

Fairfield, CT - Fairfield Beach Residents Association (FBRA) offers some ways Fairfielders can help their community during this Covid -19 time. 
First and Foremost, take care of yourselves:
- Shelter in place when possible, if you must go out, stay 6 ft apart from other people. Take walks around your neighborhood and try to stay active. 
- Wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds or use Purell when out (or other alcohol based hand sanitizer) and DO NOT touch your face.  
- Use gloves, or a disposable tissue when bringing new items into your home and wipe them down 
- The new guidance is for Seniors to wear a face mask if you need to go out. N95 type masks should still be sent to first responders and Health personnel but wearing a mask can help you keep from touching your face , which is one of the main ways you can get Covid -19
 Here is a good video on how to make one:
Here are some ways we can help others in our community:
1. Operation Hope- 
Operation Hope food drive today, Friday April 3, 10 am to noon, 963 Old Post Road. 
Hands free drop off; Shelf stable goods, toilet paper. 
We'll have options for every grade level and in English and Spanish. We'll make sure the books are culturally relevant. And we're going to buy the books in bulk. We estimate that it'll cost us about $3 per book. So whatever you can afford to give would go a long way.
You can give here
3. From Julia De Marco, Fairfield Director of Human services:
Social distancing is critical, but dropping a note in a mailbox to let a neighbor know you're there if needed, and how you might be willing to help, may just mean the world to them at this challenging time.
Social Services is delivering lunches each weekday to vulnerable seniors who cannot get to the market. We are operating a mobile food pantry with Operation Hope to bring groceries to those, of all ages, experiencing financial difficulty and can't get to the Food Pantry. If you know of a neighbor who might benefit from either, send them out way.  The town also has a Friendly Caller program to reach out to all seniors 70+. At-home town employees are currently making these calls. As the virus spreads, we will expand to volunteer callers.
We are trying to identify the best way to help seniors who can afford groceries but are afraid to shop. If you are afraid to shop for yourselves, RSVP to this e mail and we will find someone to help you.  IF you are willing to shop for Seniors, also reply to this e mail and we will connect you to someone who needs your help. 
Other options are to use Instacart. 
Instacart shops at ShopRite, BJ's, Costco and has delivery slots available within 3-4 days.
Also Pantry is doing pick ups. Call your order in and pick it up. 
4. Make a face mask; either for yourself or sign up for the Million mask challenge and make a bunch to donate to local health care providers and other essential workers
here is a short video on how to make one; please note that this is not a N95 mask and not capable of full viral protection but still worth making and wearing when you go out, mostly as a way to keep you from touching your face.
here is a link to the Million mask site 
5. Sustainable Fairfield Task Force Offers Tips
On Eating Well, Responsibly & Safely Through the Crisis
With Covid-19 generating anxiety, few features of daily life today offer more comfort than a meal of fresh, healthful, tasty food, especially if you can share it with loved ones.  It can be disturbing to see bare shelves in local food stores, but overall the nation's food supply system is stable, says the US Food and Drug Administration.  And even in these uncertain days, you can access good food in ways that will help our local economy and environment, as well as both protect and nurture your health.
From the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF), here are some ideas - including, most importantly, a suggestion on how we can help meet the food needs of our neighbors:
Fight Food Insecurity in Fairfield
Economic disruption worsens food insecurity and, for too many people, the current disruption's impact has been devastating.  In Fairfield, the volunteer-run and -operated Operation Hope Food Pantry, 636 Old Post Rd., is assisting families in meeting their basic food needs and also connecting them with other resources to help sustain their food supply.  Find information on how to help here.
Support Local Growers
The crisis has underscored the appeal and value of food from secure, local sources.  Local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow consumers to buy a weekly share of a local or regional farmer's fresh, seasonal produce directly from the farmer ahead of the growing season, helping the grower generate income and plan ahead as well as guaranteeing the buyer part of the harvest throughout the season.  Below are some Fairfield-area programs; note, Covid-19 related issues might change usual delivery or pickup procedures:
·       The Fairfield/Southport CSA is managed by Trinity Church/Southport and partners with Stoneledge Farm in New York's Catskills Mountains.  Visit here to purchase shares for the 2020 summer season (24 weekly deliveries, June-November).
·       Gazy Brothers Farm, a 4th-generation, family-run farm in Oxford, Conn., offers spring, summer and fall shares, for pickup at the Greenfield Hill Farmers Market (when open) or delivery for an additional fee.  The sign-up deadlines for spring and summer have passed, but fall shares are still available; visit here to purchase.
Sport Hill Farm in Easton, which grows a wide selection of non-GMO, sustainable produce, offers shoppers the opportunity to set up a "Market Money" line of credit for use at the farm's store, 596 Sport Hill Road.  The SFTF provides a list of other local farm stands and farmer's markets here; check back often for any Covid-19 related changes in openings, hours and procedures.   
Support Local Restaurants
Throughout the current shutdown, you can help sustain Fairfield's economy by patronizing the many local restaurants that are offering takeout and delivery in lieu of table service.  The Town maintains a list here.  And when you're perusing local menus, remember that reducing our meat consumption makes good environmental sense - so don't forget to check out all the appealing non-meat options.
Look for Locally Produced Food While Shopping Safe
The Town has posted current hours and Covid-19 related pickup/delivery options for Fairfield food retailers here.  Many of Fairfield's food retailers offer locally sourced food choices; the SFTF provides a list here.  And you can find a healthcare provider's instructional video on how to shop and bring food back into your home safely here as well as other food-related guidance here from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 
Buy in Bulk, Responsibly
We all need to avoid hoarding, to help maintain supplies of critical items for everyone, but it's possible to buy many food items in bulk responsibly and with concern for the environment.  In downtown Fairfield, BD Provisions, 1215 Post Road, offers a broad selection of fresh, bulk foods sold by the pound in sustainable containers, including nuts and snacks, coffee and teas, dried fruit, oatmeal and oats, cereals, pasta, rice and other grains, beans (everyone's new favorite food), and much more.  Curbside pickup is available.
Grow Your Own
Once warmer weather really kicks in, establishing a backyard garden (if you have the space) with fruits and vegetables in the mix will be a great way to capture the appealing health and nutrition benefits of fresh food -- and also a safe way to enjoy the outdoors after a long stretch of home confinement.  The SFTF offers some guidance on growing food at home here.  In Fairfield, Ganim's Garden Center, 320 King's Highway Cutoff, currently offers curbside pickup and home delivery of gardening supplies.
Lets all pull together and together we will get through this crisis.  Keep a watch on your elderly neighbors, take walks with others, but keep six feet apart,  share with your neighbors in need. If you are able, try to order more take-out to keep our local restaurants in business, give if you can to local aid organizations and above all stay safe!
 Stay safe!


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