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Gathering at Feed Branford Kids' distribution site on Aug. 7 are (l-r): Onofrio's Total Construction's Brittany Mirles and Debbie Onofrio; FBK charter members Wendy Cowles, Carol Stewart and Sue Barnes, Kamran and Kara Farid and Khatoon Foundation director Anna Balakrishnan, and the Farid children Salma (second from right) Zairah (far right), and (front, l-r) Aydian and Azra. Pam Johnson/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
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When Kamran and Kara Farid established their foundation in 2014, one of the first organizations they helped was in their hometown, Feed Branford Kids (FBK). In the ensuing years, the foundation has continued to support FBK, with more than $40,000 donated to date. This month, the Khatoon Foundation, formerly known as the Kamran Farid Foundation, gave again, contributing $10,000 to FBK.
With cooperation from Branford Public Schools, FBK volunteers deliver non-perishable meals to schools, which are then discreetly placed in backpacks of student participants each Friday to take home.
On Aug. 7, the Farid family, who now live in Orlando, FL and summer in Branford, came to town to visit with FBK members and catch up on the latest efforts of this all-volunteer non-profit. The Farids brought their children, Salma, Zairah, Azra and Aydian, to the FBK distribution site on Business Park Drive to learn a bit from FBK volunteers about what it takes to gather, pack and distribute weekend meals to over 200 school kids in need each week during the school year.
"They fill a need that's out there," said Kamran Farid. "We're very proud to support it, and we're happy to give back."
Khatoon Foundation Director Anna Balakrishnan said the foundation's mission is to work collaboratively with community-driven organizations to promote leadership development, create opportunity, and foster positive change in society. More information about the foundation is available at https://www.khatoonfoundation.org/
The late Johanne Pantani established FBK in 2012 by gathering Branford friends and family including Pat Andriole, Sue Barnes, Carol Stewart and Wendy Cowles to join her as charter members. Stewart said the foundation's continued support of FBK is greatly appreciated.
"It's a tremendous help," said Stewart. "We're all-volunteer; and our funding comes strictly from donations and grants. We get no funding from the government at all. So it's a big plus for us; because the kids really need the food. They're hungry. And when people from our community step up and help, what that means to us is beyond words."
Another organization with ties to Branford which supports FBK is Onofrio's Total Construction (OTC). In 2015, the Farid's foundation supported FBK by becoming a $10,000 Diamond Sponsor of OTC's golf tourney to benefit FBK. Now, OTC invites the public to support FBK by attending a Murder Mystery Charity Dinner, with live and silent auctions, set for Sept. 20 at the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club in Branford. For more information about tickets or to become as sponsor, visit www.feedbranfordkids.com
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