Almost 100 community members, students, faculty, and staff laced up their sneakers on March 24 to run and walk raising more than $3,000.00 for NVCC’s student food pantry.

Beginning at Founders Hall on NVCC’s Waterbury campus, the race began at 10 Sunday morning with a course that allowed participants to do 1.55 miles (2.5 K) or the loop twice for a 5k. Ninety-seven people participated in total and trophies for top female and male winners were given out in addition to medals for first, second, and third place by age division.


NVCC Professor of Social Work Studies Christine Cocchiola, one of the organizers of the 5k, said, “I’m very grateful for the support from President Daisy Cocco De Filippis and to the NVCC Foundation for their support. Additionally Obdulio Plaza and Jonathan Curns and their support staff for their assistance with set up and break down of the event and to Joanne Kokorus and her Greater Waterbury and Greater New Haven Pageant participants. Finally, thank you to the support of the student volunteers and faculty and staff who made this event possible.”

NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. opened the ceremony with welcoming remarks and poem, “Can Any Beauty in the World Match This?” by Persian poet, Hafiz.  The poem’s message indicates that it is only when we open ourselves with generosity and empathy that we are truly free and in touch with our humanity.  “This is one of many very generous events at NVCC that speak about the value of community and the generosity of faculty, students and staff,” said President De Filippis. “It was heartwarming to see so many members of the NVCC family and community at a successful 5k event on behalf of our food pantry.”

The pantry, which opened a little more than a year ago, is staffed by one AmeriCorps Vista Worker as well as various student workers and open Monday-Friday. A “grab and go,” service is available where students may grab a quick snack or meal, such as a granola bar, and a warm item such as individual-serving sizes of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, soups, or pasta. A grocery area of the Pantry allows students in need to pick up 20 items per month. Nearly 20 students a day are served by the pantry.

The proceeds from Sunday’s race will go toward keeping the pantry stocked in the coming months. Individuals or organizations who want to donate, should contactAngela Chapman, Associate Dean of Development at NVCC.

Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown and Woodbury. The College is located on a 110-acre campus at 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Conn., and in Danbury at 190 Main Street. The College is one of 17 institutions governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. for more information.