Holiday food, clothing, toy drives supporting local Latino community

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The holidays are around the corner and that’s why some local organizations are collecting food, toys, clothes and other items for the needy.

Here are some upcoming drives that support the Latino community in Meriden and Wallingford. 

Most Holy Trinity Church in Wallingford is hosting a food drive today and Sunday. There will be collection boxes at the entrances of the church for non-perishable foods. These items are distributed among Wallingford residents and parishioners in need. Donations may also be dropped off 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the parish center, 25 N. Whittlesey Ave.

Marfha Trujillo, who is helping organize the drive, explained the church has a monthly food drive. Contributions are shared with Master's Manna, a food bank in town.

The church has three bigger food distributions for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Trujillo said the desire is for every family to have a meal during the holidays and throughout the year.

The drive this weekend is focused on collecting frozen turkeys and gift cards the church can use to buy turkeys. 

Trujillo said the church, which has a high percentage of Latino parishioners, normally distributes food to about 40 families.

“We give them a lot of food, everything that they will need for a holiday,” she said. “Most of the families that we distribute the food [to] are Hispanic.” 

Birthright of Greater Meriden, a non-profit, pro-life pregnancy center, has Christmas giving trees in Meriden at St. Stanislaus Church and St. Rose Church; and in Wallingford at Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church and Most Holy Trinity Church.

Kate Suzio, executive director at Birthright, explained the tree at each church has ornaments with a tag listing needed items.

The Christmas donations will be distributed to Birthright clients throughout December and January, Suzio said.

The Christmas distribution normally ends with “a big Spanish family party” at St. Rose, something they are not doing this year because of the pandemic.

Donations can be dropped off at Birthright, 39 Center St. For more information, call 203-237-9887.

Birthright also helps its clients with formula, baby food, cribs and referrals to other social service agencies.

The goal of the organization is to help women monthly through their pregnancies and until the baby is 2 and a half years old.

 Suzio noted the Meriden office has a large Hispanic clientele. 

“They have many needs and fears because they are still acclimating so we do refer them really to any kind of service that they need,” she said.

Suzio said the organization has 20 volunteers, including five Hispanics that help clients with translation.

New Opportunities is hosting a holiday toy drive. The organization is accepting donations of toys, books and clothes for babies and children up to age 10.

Gifts do not need to be wrapped and monetary donations will also be accepted. Donations can be dropped off up until the week before Christmas at all of the New Opportunities offices. The Meriden office is located at 55 West Main St. and donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ksantos@record-journal.com203-317-2364Twitter: @KarlaSantosNews


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