Elizabeth “Betty” Hutchinson was 96-year-old when she passed away last November.
Even after her death, she’s made a difference in the Hamden community that will help put food on families’ tables and keep people warm during the winter.
“I wish I could tell you more other than I know she was dedicated to Hamden,” Mayor Curt Leng (D) said.
“But I know she lived at Whitney Center for a while, I know that she was a member of the Whitneyville Church,” added Adam Sendroff, the town’s Community Development Manager.
One thing for sure is that this late Hamden resident had a huge heart.
“I’ve never seen anything on this scale before,” said Sendroff, who runs the Keefe Community Center that houses the town’s Food Bank.
Recently, Sendroff received an unexpected letter from an attorney on behalf of Hutchinson’s trust.
“(It) said we were bequeathed this amount and it was amazing this woman obviously quite the humanitarian,” Sendroff said.
That amount is $65,445.95, to be exact.
“So thankful to this woman for her generosity because it allows us to help more people in the community,” Leng said.
This generous gift will help feed hungry families in Hamden, Sendroff said.
“Besides running the food bank, we also have fuel assistance program as well which this very generous donation is also earmarked to help,” Sendroff said.
Typically, most donations for food banks come in around the holiday time in December.
“Summer is a period of high risk especially for school-age children,” Sendroff said.
But this donation’s impact will be felt beyond his season for many years to come.
“We are a community of 62,000 people and there are thousands and thousands of people each year that have real, real needs and when the community can help them in some way that’s what we’re all about,” Leng said.
The Hamden Legislative Council formally accepted the donation at Monday night’s meeting.
According to the Connecticut Food Bank’s formula, if all of the more than $65,000 was used for feeding the hungry, Hutchinson’s donation could pay for more than 250,000 meals.
Last fiscal year, the Hamden Food Bank fed more than 5,000 people, Sendroff said.
If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, call 211 or go to http://www.211.org/services/food to find out more about food pantries in your area.