SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Hayden Difatta has been involved with Healing Meals for five years, providing food to families going through a health crisis.

“To me, it gives me pure joy,” said Difatta.

She’s thrilled about a recent milestone the organization made.

“Just kind of goosebumps,” she said. “I’m just so proud where I’ve seen us in the past to where we are now.”

“After six years, we just prepared and delivered out 100,000th meal,” explained founder Sarah Leathers, who said the non-profit celebrated with a cook-a-thon and a big dinner.

Also, they made a vow to keep going and growing.

“We just started a pre-natal program for low-income women in Hartford,” said Leathers.

The organization’s new space, in a former country club under the watchful eye of the Heublein Tower, is allowing the organization to spread it’s wings and make more meals for more people.

“These are the peppers for the tomato and roasted pepper soup,” said volunteer manager Susan Hoffman.

The spacious kitchen is filled with youth volunteers who begin the process each week with a food prep day.

“Final day, Thursday, we pack meals in individual containers and then they’re off to clients,” said Hoffman, noting that produce is grown at a nearby organic farm. “We send volunteers there from May all the way to October.”

With hand-written notes accompanying meals, the mission is to provide nourishment along with connection.

“One of the biggest things is that people feel loved and cared for,” said Leathers.

In the beginning, Healing Meals served six families a week. Now, it’s 50.

“Seeing meals go out and clients reaction and even the kids in here, they feel so empowered, it’s a great feeling,” said Difatta.

Clients are connected to Healing Meals by hospitals, clinics, social workers or word of mouth.

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