DARIEN, CT—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today visited Person-to-Person, a Darien-based nonprofit that has provided an extensive range of services to low-income individuals and families across the Fourth District for more than four decades. The organization, which also has a location in Norwalk, offers an array of emergency services, college and youth camp scholarships, and assistance programs.

“Far too many of the children and families in Southwest Connecticut go to bed hungry on a regular basis and lack access to educational opportunities,” Himes said. “With its dedicated staff and volunteer network, and through the help of local businesses and state and federal grants, Person-to-Person is truly making a difference in the lives of individuals and families who are struggling with hunger, economic insecurity and homelessness. I thank the P2P team and their thousands of volunteers for their hard work and dedication, and I look forward to continuing to support their efforts to provide our region's most vulnerable residents with the opportunity to live more comfortably and build a better future.”

“From the very beginning, P2P recognized the need to go beyond the basics of food, clothing and shelter to achieve our mission; we need to help provide opportunity for people living in poverty and the best way to do that is through higher education,” P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher said. “The Scholarship Program is a cornerstone of the Person-to-Person service offering. For more than 46 years, P2P has been awarding scholarships to college students from low-income households – from the $25 per semester that was given to a single mother in 1968 to the $340,000 awarded to 139 students for the upcoming academic year. P2P has funded $3.6 million in scholarships for nearly 2,000 students in the last 10 years alone. And more than 78% of the scholarship recipients are first-generation college students.”

Person-to-Person was established in 1968 and has grown into an essential organization in the community, providing services to 24,500 residents in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Wilton, Weston, and Westport last year. With their expansion into South Norwalk in 2012, Person-to-Person now operates two food pantries and a clothing center, and provides financial assistance and counseling for clients’ situational crises, summer camperships for children, and college scholarships to low-income students. In 2013, they provided more than 500,000 meals, 49,000 bags of free clothing, $400,000 in financial assistance for costs such as rent, utilities, and childcare, 550 summer camperships, and 241 college scholarships.

Person-to-Person is a volunteer-based organization, relying on the 3,000 volunteers that collectively donated over 74,500 hours last year. They garner funding and support from private individuals, local organizations and businesses, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, and spend more than 90 percent of those funds directly on programs.