Community Spotlight: Food 2 Kids

Giving Back at a Young Age: A young volunteer helps fill food bags. 
Photo courtesy of: Food 2 Kids Website

Giving Back at a Young Age: A young volunteer helps fill food bags. Photo courtesy of: Food 2 Kids Website

Olivia Salai, Staff Writer

     Food insecurity is a worldwide problem, and Milford isn’t exempt from this issue. Organizations like Food 2 Kids recruit volunteers from within the community to battle this widespread concern. 

     Volunteers at Food 2 Kids pack bags to send home with students who are dependent on school meals for nutrition and do not have access to this resource when school is not in session.

     A system was developed to ensure bag-packing runs smoothly. First, volunteers organize the food. Then, they’re split into groups. One hands out food, while the other circles the room with bags “trick or treat” style and receives food from the first group. Finally, the bags are tied and placed into boxes for the appropriate schools.

     Supporting local charities is rewarding for many people because they’re able to give back to the community they live in, even if they may be in the same situation.

     Students who receive the food service have also volunteered their time at the organization. The Rev. Ashley Grant of Milford United Church of Christ, who founded Milford Food 2 Kids, says this is very special to her because it lets students see that even though they might have some challenges in their lives, they still have the power to help others.

     Grant went on to explain that despite the program’s anonymity, it helps kids become more aware that anyone could be dealing with food security.

     “This food is going to students who you may be in class with and you don’t know, who don’t know where their next meal is,” says wrestling coach Dave Esposito. “You’re helping someone who lives next door to you, who’s your friend, who’s your neighbor.” 

     Esposito, whose wrestling team spent its season fundraising for Food 2 Kids two years ago, explains it’s important for students to be aware of local issues and educate themselves on things they take for granted.

     During Covid-19, Food 2 Kids is critical because lots of families are financially struggling now more than ever, according to Ms. Jennifer Soldi, a social worker. Many lost jobs or had their hours cut due to the pandemic, causing financial strain. Food 2 Kids helps families meet fundamental needs, like food, cleaning supplies, etc.

     When kids are supplied with the necessary nutrition to last them to the next school week, they don’t have to worry about what their next meal will be. This allows them to focus on other important things.

     “Once they receive [the food], they can really feel confident that every Friday they’ll be receiving that food… and can have that peace of mind that it will always be there for them,” says Ava Steigbigel, junior and Food 2 Kids volunteer. She adds that although food drives are helpful, Food 2 Kids is special because it “provides kids with a positive state of mind the whole year.”

     In the spirit of the approaching holiday season, consider donating time or resources to this wonderful cause. More information can be found at