Unemployed Branford woman feeding those also struggling during pandemic


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Branford woman who got laid off from her job is cooking up 50 plus meals a day for those in need.

Xanthia Pellegrino and her boyfriend, Darren Bowan, started the “Big Rescue” about three weeks ago. Pellegrino said she could not sit back and read articles about food banks drying up and kids who have nothing to eat.

“I saw that there were towns and surrounding areas that people weren’t coming to pick up the food, the school lunches, so they were just throwing them out every day and I thought it was terrible that some kids were just starving and other food was being wasted,” she explained to News 8.

One night, she went to the grocery store and bought 10 pounds of pasta and posted a picture of the food on her Facebook page. The requests for shares poured in.

“At first, everything came out of my pocket but recently I set up a GoFundMe so I’ve been getting some donations from that and people who have seen my posts on Facebook,” Pellegrino said.

She said they have delivered hundreds of meals in and around New Haven County.

Every day there is a different meal. From pasta and sandwiches to veggie sides and hot dogs, she tries to make a variety of food for people. With every dish, there are snacks and milk or juice.

“The kids come running to the door just waiting for us to show up every day,” she said.

“It just birthed a fire in us to do something in our community,” Bowan added. “It makes me feel great like I’m a part of something bigger than myself.”

Pellegrino said it makes her feel good to give back to those in need.

“People are saying the nicest things. There is just so much love in the community, and I mean I’ve literally heard stories from people saying that their kids weren’t eating for days and we just show up with food at their door and they’re just so happy.”

So far, she has raised a little over $700 on her GoFundMe page. If you are in need of a meal, just follow her on Facebook and put in a request.

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