FAIRFIELD — A group of Fairfield concerned citizens who started weekly community food drives in March have partnered with the Patterson Club of Fairfield with their ninth food and goods drive to help the area’s most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. The “social distancing” food drive will be held on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to Noon in the parking-lot of the Patterson Club, 1118 Cross Highway in Fairfield.

The drive will benefit local agencies, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and The Center for Family Justice. Fairfield residents Helene Daly, Heather Dubrosky and Alexis Harrison started the community food drives on March 15 in response to the overwhelming need food pantries and local agencies were beginning to experience following COVID-19.

In honor of Mother’s Day, the organizers are encouraging individuals to attach a note to their respective donations to denote who they are honoring or remembering through their charitable giving. Organizers were recently inspired by one Fairfielder who attached a note to her donation bag to mark her beloved mother-in-law’s 104rd birthday. “We were so touched by this individual’s gift in honor of her mother-in-law that we thought it would be fitting to continue the tradition on Mother’s Day weekend,” said Daly. “Not only can people donate items to help others in need but they can also pay tribute to someone special in their lives.” The notes attached to the donations will be posted on social media following the drive.

Items that will be collected this week include peanut butter, jelly, tomato sauces (plastic jars), pancake mixes and syrups, rice side dishes, canned stews, chili and meat, clam chowder, flour, sugar and oil, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene items, full-size shampoo, conditioners, lotions and body washes, gift cards in the denominations of $25 or less to Target, Walmart, CVS and Stop & Shop, paper products and cleaning items.

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission is dedicated to fighting poverty and provides vital services to men, women, and children dealing with hunger, homelessness, and addiction, enabling them to heal and return back to the community healthy and whole. The Center for Family Justice, which provides crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse in six local communities, including Fairfield, is experiencing unprecedented demand for its services. Its Kathie’s Place Safe House is at capacity and statewide domestic violence programs have experienced a 54 percent increase in hotline calls during the month of April. The needs of The Center for Family Justice’s clients for the essentials of daily living have also increased. “We’re very grateful to the Patterson Club and their caring community who wanted to have a food drive to assist these two organizations,” said Harrison. “Throughout these nine weeks of food drives, we’ve seen generosity and kindness in many forms and we’re delighted to have them as a partner.”

To donate online, please go to:https://bridgeportrescuemission.org/donate/