Connecticut Foodshare Sees Increased Need Amid Inflation Challenges – NBC Connecticut

In Connecticut, more than 400,000 people are struggling to put food on the table.

The problem of food insecurity is exacerbated by inflation, which increases the cost of groceries and strains food banks nationwide.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in our pantries and mobile lines. There’s definitely more need right now,” said Jason Jakubowski, CEO of Connecticut Food Share.

Jakubowski runs Connecticut’s only statewide food bank with locations in Bloomfield, Wallingford and Bridgeport. He said one in seven people and typically one in four children in the state have very limited access to food.

Recent price increases have added an additional barrier. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of poultry, milk and eggs has risen more than 14% over the past year.

“It hurts the consumer and businesses like ours in terms of how much we can buy,” Jakubowski said.

It also reduces the size of grocery store donations. Recipients may also notice a limited variety of foods in their boxes. Due to supply chain issues, Jakubowski said he could not source pasta or white rice three weeks ago.

Inflation has also made it difficult for Connecticut Foodshare to source meat and chicken. But thanks to a local grocery store and volunteers on Friday, it was sorted and packed for distribution next week.

Connecticut Foodshare supplies nearly 700 partner agencies statewide, including churches, shelters and soup kitchens. Bible Way Temple Nation in Hartford is one such site. Every other Friday, people can take what they need.

“It has truly been a blessing to me and my family,” said Tiandra Jewell of Hartford.

Jewell is a single mother of two daughters, aged eight and 13. She says she often comes to church to make sure there is enough food for her family at home. On Friday, she filled a bag with her favorite snacks and home essentials.

“For me, it’s been pretty tough, as I’m sure for a lot of families. The prices are high. You know, a lot of us could get some help from the state, you know, food stamps, stuff like that. I don’t even think that helps a lot of families through it,” Jewell said.

Those in Hartford and beyond can participate in the Connecticut Foodshare Hunger Walk at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. The 1.5 mile route begins and ends at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

“This is a great opportunity to come together as a community and physically and publicly demonstrate our commitment to ending hunger,” Jewell said.

Jakubowski said Connecticut Foodshare always needs more volunteers.

“We have about 115 employees and about 4,000 volunteers. The number of volunteer hours people put in each year is equivalent to 31 additional employees. We are a non-profit organization, we do not have the money to hire 31 more people, so we rely very heavily on our volunteers,” Jakubowski said.

For more information on the Hunger Walk or to donate and/or volunteer, click here.

Comments are closed.