Random act of kindness: Community brunch in Milford offers up love, warm food

The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

A spontaneous act of love and unity warmed the hearts of people in downtown Milford Sunday as more than a dozen community members held a free tailgate party from the public parking lot at the former M&T Bank, now the Touch of Italy headquarters.

Jennifer Rowan and Ben Jones cooked up and chorizo and beans from El Gigante. Jamie Burk brought along Hughes scrapple to cook on a camping grill. Others brought more food like bread, meatballs and cake. My Sister’s Fault and Arena’s in Milford also pitched in toward the effort and a bouncy house helped occupy the children present while the adults enjoyed talking among themselves.

All of the food and fun was offered freely, although no one person would take the blame for the event.

Bathrooms were offered by Delaware Branding next door to the lot. A tent was put up by Lifecycle in case the sun decided to join the party that some joked was inspired by negative comments shared about the same location in recent weeks by Touch of Italy Owner Bob Ciprietti.

The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

He purchased the old M&T Bank building on the corner of Walnut and Front Streets in June 2016 but has yet to open a Touch of Italy location. Instead, he currently uses the building as a headquarters for his group of restaurants although only a few employees are regularly seen going in and out of the building during business hours.

In a recent radio interview, the building owner cited drug problems and other concerns as reasons for not completing the restaurant to date. (Read more here)

“The stuff he talked about is going to be found everywhere. If you had ten words about Milford, it’s not going to be any of those,” Mr. Jones said Sunday afternoon during the tailgate party.

Generous, kind and loving were words heard by party-goers as they discussed an outpouring of support for their fellow community members. Anyone who walked by while the crock pots were warm were offered free meals. Ms. Rowan said she also told the local Code Purple shelter of the opportunity.

The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

“If the change is going to happen, it’s because you’re going to do something about it. I don’t think this was any one person’s idea and we don’t want it to be. It’s just community members trying to make a difference,” Keith Mosher said.

Lifecycle posted a similar sentiment on their Facebook page after the event, stating, “#Brunchatthebank was born out of the spontaneous creativity of community. A community that takes responsibility for our town and strives to create positive connections through food and friendship. People that simply like feeding other people. You never know where brunch will pop up next.”

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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