Feeding Connecticut’s Hungry: A Thanksgiving for All

WALLINGFORD, Ct. — In Connecticut, one 1-in-9 adults and 1-in-6 children go to bed hungry, but through donations and the work of volunteers, they can still have a bountiful Thanksgiving. In Wallingford today, Co ast Guard volunteers are among those helping prepare orders and load trucks to distribute more than 18,000 frozen turkeys and fresh vegetables to soup kitchens and food pantries in time for the traditional holiday meal.

According to Valerie Schultz-Wilson, CEO of the Connecticut Food Bank, there is a real need for food assistance.

“There’s about 450,000 people in the state that live with food insecurity on a daily basis,” Schultz-Wilson said. “Many of them are seniors, and we’ve noticed a tremendous uptick with respect to food insecurity on college campuses.”

By last Friday, supermarkets and other donors had contributed about 800,000 pounds of food and $300,000 to the Food Bank’s Thanksgiving for All food and fund drive.

While Thanksgiving is always the busiest time of year, Schultz-Wilson pointed out meeting the needs of the food-insecure in Connecticut is a year-round endeavor.

“We serve 144,000 people monthly, and the last fiscal year, FY-19, we distributed 27-million pounds of food,” she said.

That food is distributed through a network of 300 local agencies throughout the Connecticut Food Bank’s distribution area.

Schultz-Wilson said distribution of food for Thanksgiving began last Monday, including in areas where food-insecure people have difficulty accessing the nutritious food they need.

“We have about 74 mobile pantries that run on a monthly basis, and so we have also been distributing Thanksgiving food at our mobile pantries all week and we will be distributing it again tomorrow,” she said.

Information about how to volunteer, donate or to find a food pantry or soup kitchen is available online at ctfoodbank.org.

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