Every $1 donated to Connecticut Foodshare helps provide two meals of food to the estimated 428,800 individuals (including over 109,000 children) struggling with food insecurity throughout Connecticut, enabling them to receive nutritious food to thrive.
Connecticut Foodshare (Connecticut Food Bank)
Connecticut Foodshare's mission is to deliver a more informed and equitable response to hunger by mobilizing community partners, volunteers, and supporters throughout Connecticut. We provide healthy and nutritious food to people in need through a statewide network of more than 650 partner agencies and direct service programs serving the estimated 364,040 people, including 92,430 children, at risk of hunger in Connecticut. We have a 40-year history of providing aid to Connecticut’s highest risk communities struggling with hunger.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. This is a rampant problem in Connecticut and affects people from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. Further exacerbated by the current economic climate, an increasing number of families are struggling with food insecurity who have never faced this issue before. While most food-insecure individuals are living at or below the poverty level, many exceed the income criteria to qualify for SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). This population, categorized as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), represent those who are unable to afford the basics of housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, and technology. Understanding that food-insecurity does not discriminate, Connecticut Foodshare works diligently to fill these gaps, provide immediate assistance to those in need, and execute long-term strategies to expose the underlying causes of hunger.
Our operations are comprised of multiple components that each play a critical role in the advancement of our mission. Beginning with food acquisition, our staff sources and procures food for distribution through a combination of food purchasing and solicitation of donations from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and farmers. Volunteers sort and inspect food received to make sure it is safe for consumption. Products then get packed, labeled, shelved, and housed in our Wallingford, Bridgeport, and Bloomfield facilities. Connecticut Foodshare partners with over 500 agencies (food pantries, community kitchens, emergency shelters, etc.), and through these partnerships, agencies acquire food from our inventory to distribute to their local communities. Partner agencies use our online system to view and order food in our inventory which they receive via pick up or delivery. Weekly, bimonthly, and monthly food distributions are made to our member agencies and direct service programs which vary in size, location, and capacity, with each serving an average of 20 to 1,000 people and distributing an average of 20 to 50,000 pounds of food per month. Our Mobile Pantry program addresses need not met by brick-and-mortar agencies. Trucks are dispatched into underserved neighborhoods, distributing food to assist those in need who lack direct proximity to a supermarket or food pantry or may not have a vehicle or the physical means to access resources outside of their neighborhood. Connecticut Foodshare collaborates with representatives from local community organizations who agree to use their location as a Mobile Pantry distribution site.
In addition to our direct distribution services, Connecticut Foodshare also houses a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program which offers SNAP enrollment assistance, and a Retail Rescue program, which helps over 300 food retailers donate food directly to food pantries in their local area.