Today on International Women's Day, let’s remember that women, especially moms need our support right now. Due to the pandemic, 2.3M women in America are now unemployed, and women’s participation in the labor force is the lowest it has been in 33 years. It will take time to recover, and we’re proud to be part of that journey to recovery for many women in Connecticut.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes, but our work especially helps mothers, as about 65% of the children in our Weekend Meal Program live with single moms and grandmothers. During the pandemic, women in particular have been handling so many new responsibilities. For many local moms, they have had to choose between their career and managing childcare and new at-home education. With our program, getting food on the table is one less thing they have to worry about.
Notes from local moms like Maritza remind us why we continue to do this important work. Since the pandemic began last year, hunger rates have skyrocketed and haven’t recovered yet. We have stretched ourselves and worked overtime to meet the rising demand and enrollment in our program, and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.
We’re able to keep going because of the many strong women in the ranks at Filling in the Blanks who make sure that we meet our goals. From our founders to our employees and volunteers, their passion for helping the next generation in their community is clear:
"I am passionate about working with FITB because I know I’m making an immediate impact in a child’s life. I firmly believe education is an important part of success, and it’s difficult to learn if you’re hungry. Knowing that what I do today with FITB goes out the door and into a child’s belly makes me passionate about turning my concern into action." — Michelle Casey, Volunteer Coordinator
"Working with FITB marries several of my passions. I love children. As an Italian Mom of 3, I cannot imagine a child being hungry, let alone in my own community. I am passionate about underdogs. I always root for them. These children are the underdogs. A child can't learn, or dare I say excel if they are food insecure. I am also very passionate about teamwork and doing the right thing. Once I learned what Shawnee and Tina were doing and how hands-on and emotionally invested they were, I knew I found my place to give back to my community. Every single day I wake up and say, "Let's do something good today." Working with Filling in the Blanks allows all of us to do good every day!" — Cheryl Tierney, Director of Development at Filling in the Blanks
"I think we are all called to help our neighbors. When you wake up feeling grateful to have what you need each day, it's hard to not want everyone to feel that way. Working with Filling in the Blanks and getting food directly into the hands of children just like my own makes me so happy and I know I am making a difference." — Kristin Thomas, Volunteer Grant Writer
Do you want to help make a difference in the lives of women and kids in Connecticut? There are many ways to get involved. From in-person or virtual volunteering to food drives and donations, there’s something for everyone. Explore our donation page to learn more!