Programs - Learn About All the Ways You Can Help

Programs that are effective in reducing poverty and producing positive outcomes are a smart investment with broad societal benefits. According to the "2004 Kids Count Data Book" published by the CT Association for Human Services, lifting low-income working families out of poverty strengthens the overall economy. Families that become self-sufficient create a more stable workforce and strengthen the state's general financial system.

In an effort to help working families attain financial independence, Gifts of Love offers the following programs and services at no charge to clients: 

  • Food and Nutrition Program: The Food and Nutrition Program includes the food pantry and Weekend Food Backpack Program.  The food pantry enables clients to "shop" for food once per month and is stocked with a wide variety of non-perishable foods, paper goods, personal hygiene items, meats and fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables grown at Community Farm of Simsbury. 
  • The Weekend Food Backpack Program distributes backpacks to nearly 200 students receiving free or reduced cost lunch in need in Avon, Canton, Farmington, Simsbury and West Hartford with easy-to-prepare meals and drinks for the family for the weekend and snacks for the student for the week.  Students receive their backpacks from their schools on Fridays and return them to their schools on Mondays.
  • Clothes Closet: Clients can "shop" for in-season clothing for their families once per month.
  • Linen Closet and Household Room: Offers clients an array of bed linens, towels, curtains, pots, pans, dishes and small appliances, which are particularly important to clients who are leaving a shelter, experiencing a divorce or have suffered a fire.
  • Furniture Program: Accepts and delivers furniture to meet the needs of clients. Clients may need furniture due to an addition to the family, moving to a home from a shelter, suffering a fire or exiting an abusive situation.
  • Holiday Program: The Holiday Program enables clients to “shop” for new items for their family members for the holidays.
  • Back-to-School Program: In August, Gifts of Love provides in-need children with fully-stocked backpacks, including pencils, paper, dictionaries and other necessary school supplies so they can start the school year ready for academics.
  • Educational Programming: School-year educational programming includes classroom visits by Farm educators as well as visits to the Farm. Students apply classroom theory and STEM concepts to hands-on activities, and learn about the importance of fresh produce, agricultural conservation, and social service by growing and harvesting food for people in need.  In addition, Summer Enrichment Camp is designed to engage students in science, math, reading and writing contributing to a decrease in summer learning loss and further preparing students for academic success in the coming school year. Community Farm of Simsbury has become a leader in providing innovative food security and educational programming for students. 
  • Incubator Farmer Program: Community Farm of Simsbury hosts the only Incubator Farmer Program in the state, which introduces future farmers to proper organic-farming techniques.  
  • Farmington Valley Hunger Collaborative: Gifts of Love is part of the Farmington Valley Hunger Collaborative with food pantries in Avon, Canton, Farmington and Simsbury. The Collaborative works to better deliver services and supports to those in need in the Farmington Valley. The Hunger Collaborative combines resources to purchase in food bulk, pick up orders at Foodshare and distribute produce grown at Community Farm of Simsbury.
  • Other Services: Additional supports include Operation Fuel assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program assistance, and financial planning and self-sufficiency consultation.

If you are in need of services, please contact us at 860-676-2323 or email Denise Phillips at dphillips@giftsoflovect.org.