WINNSBORO — For one group of men in Fairfield County, this holiday season represents a new start of sorts.
Noncustodial fathers who receive services from the Fairfield Fatherhood Coalition teamed up with director Rudolph Walker to hold a food drive to benefit the Fairfield County Food Bank.
The impetus to give back is a tangible expression of the intent of the program: to mold men who are fathers into the types of role models and leaders who instead could be known as daddies. The men had collected food since late November for the project.
“This is one of the first community service projects here, but in the past a lot of times the men have packed up items for Harvest Hope Food Bank. We thought it would be good this year to give back to this community in appreciation of this community,” Walker said.
Some of the fathers took their children to the grocery store as they shopped for the food drive and used the activity as a teachable moment. That opportunity to practice parenting was an unintended benefit to the outreach but one for which father George Sampson was thankful.
“I took my boy shopping for canned goods,” Sampson said, “and told him they were going to children less fortunate. It’s good to help people who need your help and is good for us to give, not just receive.”
Eddie Hughes said he did a similar experience with his 5-year-old daughter.
“She understood (the significance), she really did,” Hughes said.
Walker said the coalition plans to build upon this outreach and do more to give back to the community.