A food drive to help stock Operation Hope's Food Pantry is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 20, at First Congregational Church, sponsored by the church, Operation Hope and Fairfield's legislative delegation.

Nonperishable food items may be dropped off between noon and 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the church, 148 Beach Road at the corner of Old Post Road.

The nonprofit Operation Hope provides the needy with food from its pantry and also operates a homeless shelter and community kitchen. Last year it provided nearly 160,000 meals, food-drive sponsors said.

Joining Saturday's drive are state Sen.-elect Tony Hwang, R-28; state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132; and state Reps.-elect Cristin McCarthy Vahey, D-133, and Laura Devlin, R-134.

"Since the founding of Operation Hope in 1986, the citizens of Fairfield have demonstrated time and again their generous and compassionate spirit in helping people in need," said the Rev. David Spollett, First Church Congregational pastor, said in a news release.

"Unfortunately, more of our neighbors struggle to provide food for their families than ever before. The Food Pantry at Operation Hope is literally a lifeline for those in need."