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CT Checkup: ‘Resilient Stratford T-Shirt Sale’ features town pride, supports food pantry stretched thin amid pandemic shutdowns

Fairfield

STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A t-shirt sale in Stratford is featuring town pride and community while supporting a local food pantry that has been stretched thin amid the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

The Sterling House Community Center in Stratford is feeding more people than ever in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, providing nearly 5,000 meals per week.  

While there have been community donations keeping them afloat, Executive Director Amanda Meeson says funds are still needed to keep up with demand. 

“Regular pantry operations have doubled during COVID,” she said. “Our delivery program in addition to that went from 12 senior households to upwards of 60.” 

That’s where the ‘Resilient Stratford T-Shirt Sale’ comes in. It’s a project Athletic Director Catherine Proto spearheaded when a local screen printing company, MyT Graphics, approached her with an idea.

“They said, ‘Hey can we come up with a Stratford pride T-Shirt to try to get the community together and have all the proceeds donated back to the food pantry?’,” Proto explained. 

Three T-Shirt designs were created by a Stratford artist and residents were able to vote on their favorite.

The winning design is now for sale for $15 on the Sterling House website, with all proceeds going back to the pantry. 

Shirts will be available for pickup starting June 26. 

Proto says, so far, they’ve received about 30 orders and that she is grateful for the support. Her hope for the community is, “That they remember to keep prideful in our town, support one another, love one another, be grateful for what we have during these times and make sure we pass it along.”

And Meeson says seeing a local business and artist coming together to support them in this way is a great representation of the Stratford community as a whole. 

She told News 8, “It’s just so perfect and beautiful and symbolic of this town and the way we come together.” 

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