On May 7th, 2020 the Connecticut Food Bank held a mobile drive-through food pantry for Bridgeport area residents to help alleviate hunger in the community caused by the pandemic. A line of cars to receive free meals wrapped around the entire block of Bass Pro Shops.
Regional partners also came in droves to volunteer in the giving. The Bridgeport Fire Department, The American Red Cross, State and Town Representatives, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, and Bobby Christoph Jr. of Steelpointe Harbor were all present to give back to the community in need and collaborate with the Connecticut Food Bank.
Connecticut Food Bank board member Arlene Putterman stated, “We brought 32 tons of food today which is enough to fill 1500 cars. We do have a distribution center in Bridgeport so we couldn’t think of a better place to be than here. Giving back is critical to the community because there’s so many people in need of food during this pandemic.” Arlene said that the team at the CT Food Bank started an hour early because cars began to line up at 9 am. “So many volunteers have come out to support us,” Putterman stated. One of those volunteers, State Representative Christopher Rosario, regarded the event as very unique to other giving rallies he has recently attended. “What’s so special about this event is that it’s one of the most well attended and well-organized events I’ve been a part of. Everyone is in good spirits; a lot of people are in need and we’re here to help. As a volunteer, I’m doing this in the spirit of service to my community.”
The collaboration between Steelpointe, the Connecticut Food Bank, and the people of Bridgeport on May 7th during the COVID-19 pandemic was one special sight. Wanda Geter-Pataky, leader of the 136th district of Bridgeport, had one word to say when asked about what made her happy about the day’s turnout, “Unity.” With such a large portion of Bridgeport, namely the Steelpointe Peninsula, being occupied to hold this event, Owner of Steelpointe, Bobby Christoph Jr. was nothing short of astonished by the turnout. “At Steelpointe, we feel good about this turnout. It’s the right thing to do. People need support, and we have the area on our land to be able to do something like this, so it’s essential we take advantage of that and support our community to make sure people are getting healthy food.”
The event concluded at 2 PM, with cars lining up to receive aid right up until the final hour. Traffic control by the Bridgeport Police Department and event organization by the City and Bass Pro Shops and the CT Food Bank helped shape the event into a safe and valuable experience for everyone in attendance. Cars were instructed to drive at a slow pace through the drive through and have their trunk and windows opened to receive food from staffers and volunteers. Media outlets such as WTNH News 8, ABC Channel 7, and others were in attendance to capture the story throughout the day. With such a positive turnout, it is safe to say that Steelpointe has become a new home for safe, reliable, and efficient distribution of food relief for the Bridgeport Community.