Caring for Bethlehem takes a village — and many others

Cathy Wheeler, left, and Carolyn Happy purchase fresh produce from local farmers and distribute it for children’s summer meals.

BETHLEHEM — On a recent Friday morning, Carolyn Happy from Bethlehem and Cathy Wheeler of Morris, both members of Christ Episcopal Church Stewardship Committee, were preparing 11 colorful bags of fresh produce, as they have done since late June. The church members stepped up when the school district stopped free lunches once the school year ended.

The church buys fruit and vegetables from local farmers to support them, and to supplement the sandwiches and other meals provided by the town’s food bank. In addition to March Farms, Percy Thomson Meadows and Sun One Organics, the group purchases homemade hummus from Oliva on Main, a Mediterranean café across the street from the church. Owner Riad Aamar said the restaurant is happy to be part of the healthy meals for local children and noted that their hummus is now for sale at New Morning in Woodbury, The Market in Bantam, The Market in Northville and the Pantry in Washington Depot.

Christ Church is a member of a non-profit organization called “Caring for Bethlehem,” in tandem with the two other churches in town: First Church of Bethlehem, (which rearranged their offices to accommodate a drive-by food bank) and Prince of Peace Parish, which administers a clothing bank. They are joined by the Bethlehem Lions Club, which provides on-going support to Caring for Bethlehem programs.

Christ Episcopal Church is located at 18 Main Street S., Bethlehem. Caring for Bethlehem can be contacted at 860-631-3169 or Friends@CFBethlehem.org for details about donations of non-perishables and clothing.

Connecticut Media Group