Tamath Rossi runs more than 20 miles some mornings to train for her first marathon next month. When she returns home, she oftentimes grabs a hot meal or a snack before heading off to work.
But Rossi knows not everyone walks through the front door to find a house full of groceries. In fact, as the borough’s deputy mayor, she is acutely aware that the number of area residents seeking assistance to put meals on the table has grown rapidly over the past five years as the economy has floundered.
“The other day, I ran by the food bank on Spring Street and noticed a lot of families outside,” said Rossi, who will compete in the ING Hartford Marathon on Oct. 13. “Immediately, I wanted to help.”
She decided she could use her running to help those in need. So, on Wednesday she reached out to friends, family and several others in the community to help fulfill her goal of gathering $1,000 in sponsorships for her to run the marathon. All money raised will go toward the Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank, which has served 300 more families this year – about 1,900 total – than it did to this point last year.
“Running a marathon is a personal milestone for me, and I’ve been focused on that,” she said. “But when I saw people at the food bank, a light went off, and I realized this is a selfish thing because I’m doing it for myself. But there are people out there who have other things to worry about, like feeding their families. I thought this could be a great opportunity to help a little bit.”
She is asking people to donate as much as they can afford, adding that even $5 from individual donors could add up quick.
Rossi is also reaching out to businesses and corporate donors, telling them that if they donate at least $100 by Oct. 6, she will run with the names of their organizations emblazoned on her running shirt. “Thousands of people will be there, so it should be pretty good advertising,” she said.
Donors can send checks to Rossi at 100 General Patton Drive, Naugatuck, CT, 06770. They can also be sent to the mayor’s office on the fourth floor of Town Hall at 229 Church St.
Donations can also be picked up. To make arrangments, email Rossi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 203.729.4865.
Checks can be made payable to Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank with “Rossi marathon” in the memo line.