BRISTOL â€“ In advance of Veterans Day, the Knights of Columbus will hold their first â€śOperation We Canâ€ť 24-hour marathon collection drive of canned goods and other non-perishable food items.
The drive will take place from 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the St. Gregory the Great Church CCD Center parking lot, 1043 Stafford Ave.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping that this gets a great turnout,â€ť said Ken Archambault, Knights of Columbus grand knight. â€śWe got a 20-foot container and weâ€™re hoping to be able to fill it full of cans. There are different organizations weâ€™re going to be donating cans to and if we can fill the container weâ€™ll be able to give at least 10,000 cans to each of them.â€ť
The organizations the Knights will be donating to include: The Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Ann Church, Brianâ€™s Angels, the Agape House and Hillside Community Church.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping to make this an annual event,â€ť Archambault said. â€śWe chose to do this on Veterans Day weekend because of the homeless veterans that are not only in the city of Bristol and the state of Connecticut but all throughout the United States.â€ť
Archambault said the idea grew from a homily given by Deacon Stanley Piotrowski at St. Gregory. â€śHe was talking about how there are so many people and families in the city of Bristol and state of Connecticut, and throughout the United States and the world, that go without good. They have to make a decision on whether buy food or they buy medicine or things like that.â€ť
According to the Connecticut Food Bank: Just in Connecticut nearly half a million residents struggle with hunger, more than 127,000 children are food insecure, â€śand these are people from all walks of life - children, working parents, seniors, or people living with disabilities. They are our neighbors.â€ť
The Feeding America Hunger in America 2014 study surveyed food pantry and soup kitchen clients in Connecticut and revealed that in the previous 12 months:
o 73 percent had to choose between food or utilities.
o 63 percent had to choose between food or rent.
o 68 percent had to choose between food or medical care.
â€śThose are hard numbers to swallow in a state as wealthy as Connecticut, and the numbers for the United States as a whole is 41.2 million Americans are food insecure, affecting 3.1 million households with children. And when you look at the world figures, there are 815 million hungry people in the world, but one of the saddest statistics is that every year 3.1 million children under five die due to malnutrition,â€ť Archambault said.
â€śThatâ€™s why weâ€™re putting it out there to have the community come together to help us out,â€ť he added.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.