Filling A Need
By Camilla A. Herrera
For Tina Kramer and Shawnee Knight, helping in the fight against childhood hunger seemed like a perfect cause to take on. “We both wanted to give back,” says Kramer. “And we wanted our kids to be involved,” adds Knight. After recognizing that some children who qualify for government-funded free or reduced-priced meal programs still experience food insecurity at home on weekends and during school breaks, they soon had a mission for what became Filling in the Blanks (FITB). The nonprofit, now in its third academic year, delivers weekend meals every Friday to Stamford children at Domus, Chester Addison Community Center, KT Murphy Elementary, Roxbury Elementary and the Boys & Girls Club.
The formula is simple: Five times a year, up to 150 volunteers show up at the agency’s New Canaan home to help pack and stock bags of donated shelf-stable and easy-to-prepare food. Volunteers also make the weekly deliveries, organize food drives and help raise funds—FITB’s annual Golf Outing benefit will be held May 10 at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford, New York. “We are completely volunteer-based, and so far we’ve delivered 6,800 bags just this year,” says Kramer.
As FITB grows, Kramer and Knight see an increasing demand, and hope to help all deserving children in Stamford’s elementary schools by 2018. “You see all these kids in need,” says Knight, “how can you say no? It’s not a complicated fix to a problem.” To lend a hand or make a donation, visit fillingintheblanks.org.