HARTFORD – Many sights were familiar as the Connecticut Institute for Community Development – Puerto Rican Parade Committee held a press conference to kick-off its season of celebration.
“We have suffered so much through the pandemic – the last year in quarantine – we were not able to impact the community as we wanted,” explains board member Brenda Marie Cartagena.
That’s why the recent return of an important tradition – the Goya Gives Food Drive – means so much.
“Vegetable, beans, olive oil, crackers and rice,” says Luis Carrasquillo, Division Manager of Goya Foods. “It’s our business to help our community. These are the people who make Goya what it is today so it’s our pleasure to give back to the community.”
The company donated 3,600 pounds of cans and boxes to the food drive. And in 2020 alone, Goya donated 13,000 pounds of food.
“It is important to note that I don’t consider an event like this a charitable event,” says Kenneth Barela, the CEO of Hispanic Health Council. “Access to nutritious food is really a human right.”
The goal of the event is to provide 400 families with food, to raise awareness of the upcoming caravan on June 5, and to provide easy access to the Covid 19 vaccine.
“The Latino community, we need to get vaccinated,” says Sammy Vega, President of the CICD. “Let’s celebrate but we have to do our part.”
To that end, the food drive featured a vaccine clinic as the community adapts to celebrate and connect safely.
Tune in Saturday as we celebrate the 2021 Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Caravan and Gathering: Thank you Health and Essential Workers.
It starts at 11:30am on News 8 and streaming on WTNH.com.