STAMFORD, Conn. -- When Stamford School Superintendent Winifred Hamilton was handed a bouquet of flowers Thursday morning and told she had been chosen to be handed an award by a food bank, she was surprised and a little mystified.
“I thought it was always a chef,” Hamilton joked as she was given the Thomas Steel Award by the Foodbank of Lower Fairfield County for her work in backing a food drive by the public school district.
But Kate Lombardo, the foodbank’s executive director, said Hamilton was an obvious choice.
“She is the only superintendent who has stepped out and had an entire school district conduct a food drive to feed children in difficult times,” Lombardo said referring to the six municipalities the food bank serves.
The post-holiday food drive helped to replenish the food bank’s pantry during a time when it often runs low, Hamilton said. She said the school district was able to collect over 7,000 pounds of food for the food bank.
“I think it is just work that we should all be involved in,” she said.
The campaign was also an important teaching tool for the district’s students, Hamilton said.
“There is joy in giving, and I think our kids learn what a good feeling it is to care about somebody other than themselves,” she said after the brief ceremony in the mayor’s conference room at the Government Center.
“How better to give back to your community than being involved with feeding and helping make sure families have meals on the table for their children during vacations and besides just holidays, everyday.”