Months after New Canaan’s Jeanette Wallace in early 2014 created Hungry Kidzz—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to get as much food and joy to needy local children—she launched a “stocking stuffer” program whereby donors could fill a stocking with goodies that she’d redistribute through area human services groups. Relatively new to town—Wallace moved here with her family, including three kids, about four years ago—she didn’t have a physical location at the time to give her program visibility and to collect donations. This year, Wallace teamed up with Halo Studios on Grove Street and expanded the program so that those who wanted to support it without physically filling a stocking themselves could help by funding the purchase of treats, candy, gum, puzzles, arts & crafts, books, barrettes, nail polish and other items.
“We felt last year that there are a lot of people that wanted to do stockings and but they didn’t have time and would rather write a check,” Wallace said. Formerly a Trumbull resident, Wallace said she realizes the organization’s mission through programs such as the stocking stuffers by helping connect New Canaanites with needy families from surrounding towns in a meaningful, direct way. The stockings themselves—Wallace predicts more than last year’s 1,300 for this year—will go to families not only through the New Canaan Food Pantry but also Open Door Shelter in Norwalk which is both a soup kitchen and shelter, Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, St.