"Groton Feeds Groton" initiative launched
Groton — Mystic resident Erica Chandler said she has been looking daily for small, behind-the-scenes ways that she and her family can "help to bring a little joy and ease the burden or make things safer for others” during the pandemic.
Chandler, who said she feels fortunate to be a part of this community where she is raising her family and works as a part-time math tutor at Northeast Academy Arts Magnet Elementary School, worries that so many “community members are struggling each day to figure out how they will support their families and cope with these daily concerns.”
Chandler said she was inspired by the “Stonington Feeds Stonington” initiative started by Stonington resident Nicole Jones to raise money to buy gift cards to local restaurants, which the Stonington Department of Human Services then distributes to those in need.
Chandler said she kept coming back to the idea of starting a similar initiative in Groton to both support local restaurants and feed residents.
With the help of Jones, who Chandler said was integral in sharing information and leading her through the process, “Groton Feeds Groton" launched Friday night.
“Groton Feeds Groton aims to provide support to our local restaurants during this difficult time, while also providing meals to our Residents that need it the most,” the GoFundMe page states. “Small businesses are the heart of our town and will need as much support as we can provide in the coming weeks. Additionally, local families are already feeling the impact through unpaid time off/loss of work, which will lead to more families in our community relying on the services our town provides to help our most vulnerable residents."
"We will be working to collect donations that will then be used to purchase gift cards to local restaurants," it continued. "From there, we will provide those gift cards to the Town of Groton Human Services to ensure they get in to the hands of those that need them most.”
Within 24 hours of its launch, the group raised more than $2,000, said Chandler, who is administrator of the group with Jill Lubrano and Lauren Post. As of Monday afternoon, the group was up to nearly 300 members and had raised $3,200 from 41 donors.
“I'm not sure how big this will grow in days to come, but it is inspiring to see and hear from so many people willing to donate and offering help with this endeavor,” Chandler said.
Town Mayor Patrice Granatosky said, “There is so much generosity in the community, but this is a unique opportunity to make your donation go twice as far. Helping local restaurants by giving them business and helping our neighbors in need.”
Groton Human Services Director Marge Fondulas said the department is thrilled to have Chandler’s support and creativity. The initiative will benefit the people in the community, as well as benefit local restaurants at a time when they’ve been struggling.
“It seems like a win-win situation. We’re just very pleased to have her support and her energy,” she said about Chandler.
The GoFundMe page is available at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/groton-feeds-groton?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
More information is available on the “Groton Feeds Groton” Facebook page.