North Haven’s St. John’s Episcopal Church at 3 Trumbull Place offers Community Suppers every Friday evening during the school year from 6-7 pm for anyone in the community interested in a nutritious hot meal served by volunteers from the area. This year, the North Haven Rotary Club has pledged to provide and serve a full course meal once a month. Rotarians Theresa Ranciato-Viele and Deana Morin have been key coordinators of the effort this year. Rotary President Debbie Volain stated that the culinary event is particularly popular on these cold winter nights, adding that the atmosphere is “warm with fellowship and friendship, and the quality time spent with friends and neighbors is just plain fun”.
Ham was the main course at the mid-January feast thanks to Rotarian Jonathan Martinek. The Culinary Demonstration Specialist delivered and baked two large hams that he had purchased on behalf of the Rotary club from his place of employment, Fairfield Whole Foods, at a greatly reduced price. According to Martinek, the Fairfield store provided the ham to the service club at a price below their cost. He said, “When I told the guys in the meat department about the purpose of the supper they agreed to sell them to us below their cost, saving us approximately $105.” The club later learned that the leftovers were donated to an interfaith relief organization known as Midnight Run which distributes food, clothing, blankets, and personal care items to the homeless in New Haven.
Also present at the time of the purchase was Dr. Richard Bassett, the Governor of Rotary District 7980, who was there in his official capacity because the Whole Foods store on Fairfield’s Grasmere Avenue had pledged 5% of their total sales on January 15th to the Fairfield Rotary Club’s designated charity, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Martinek reported that “The Whole Foods check to BRM will be $3,700, the largest 5% day we have had since the Fairfield store opened. I personally saw 4 shopping carts overflowing with donations of canned goods and other necessary items, as well. Thank you to everyone who supported this cause!”
Text and photos courtesy of Rotarians David Marchesseault & Jonathan Martinek