NORWALK, Conn. -- Person-to-Person, a nonprofit community organization in Norwalk, itself got a helping hand from the state recently, according to state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.
Duff, a Democrat from Norwalk and Darien, and state Sen. Carlo Leone, a Democrat from Stamford, joined P2P volunteers, staff and clients recently to celebrate a major grant they, and state Rep. Christopher R. Perone of Norwalk, helped secure.
P2P was given a $250,000 grant, to be split over two years, which will help it expand services to families in southwestern Connecticut who are struggling financially.
The Norwalk office also serves clients in Weston, Westport and Wilton.
Despite the fact that Connecticut, Duff said, “has regained nearly all the jobs lost’ during the Great Recession, many families are still having a hard time putting food on their tables, or accessing critical services.
P2P has thrown these families a “lifeline,” the majority leader said.
According to P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher, the region is among the highest rental markets in the country.
The grant will enable the organization and its thousands of volunteers not only to provide more clients with food and educational opportunities, childcare and skills training, but it will also to help prevent evictions and utility shut-offs, Maher said.
P2P provides services to more than 55 percent of the Norwalk residents who live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, Maher said.
P2P has reported that clients that use its services for more than a year are 60 percent less likely to report reduced or skipped meals due to lack of money for food. Clients have also been shown to increase their financial and personal stability by as much as 70 percent over a three-year period, the agency said.
P2P’s emergency food pantry provides families with seven days of groceries. It also runs a free “store” where clients can shop once a month for donated clothing and supplies needed by new mothers, like diapers and bottles.
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