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Connecticut Food Bank Hunger News & Advocacy Blog

Food insecurity among seniors can cause severe health problems

Although low-income senior citizens are at higher risk of food insecurity, all food insecure senior citizens – regardless of income – experience lower nutrient intake and poorer health outcomes than food secure seniors. That’s according to recently released research by Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger.  Entitled Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans, the study reveals that food insecurity among seniors is associated with a number of diseases and other negative health consequences. When compared to food secure seniors, food insecure seniors are: 60 percent more likely to experience depression; 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack; 52 percent more likely to develop asthma; and 40 percent more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure. In addition, the study finds that food insecure seniors are more likely than those who are food secure to have lower...
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Posted in Senior Hunger, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What does 46,000 pounds of food look like?

It was a record-breaking day here at Connecticut Food Bank when the Ocean State Job Lot tractor trailer loaded with 46,000 pounds (18 pallets) of nutritious food pulled into our parking lot! The delivery is the first of many we’ll receive from Job Lot this year as part of the Three Square Meals Family Meal Assistance Program. Each year, Ocean State Job Lot’s generous customers donate to their local food bank at the register during the holiday season. Then Job Lot matches the dollars donated by customers and uses those funds purchase food direct from brand-name manufacturers.  This year’s $1.4 million dollar purchase was divided up and delivered to 13 food banks in New England and New York – the largest single food donation of its kind by a private company in New England! Thanks to all who generously donated last holiday season.  You are making a difference in the lives of the men, women...
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Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World War II veteran never forgot

The following post was recently published in the Winter/Spring issue of Connecticut Food News. Decades later his memories of war are still vivid.  In a presentation to an engaged audience at the American Legion in Middletown, John D’Aquila, a resident of Long Island, told stories of his experiences as a medic in the European theater during World War II. He spoke compassionately about entering the Mauthausen concentration camp and encountering people who were skeletal from starvation and pleading for food. His unit immediately set up a soup kitchen to provide nourishment to the survivors.  “My war experience has given me a purpose, empathy, and an understanding of what is going on even today,” John told the audience. John, an attorney, has written a play, “From the Fires,” for 8th and 9th graders to help them understand the consequences of cruelty.  The play has been performed over 1,000 times at schools...
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Posted in Donors, Fundraising, Nutrition, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March is National Nutrition Month: Eating right for a healthy life

Connecticut Food Bank is recognizing National Nutrition Month this March in honor of the more than 520,000 people in Connecticut that lack access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life.  This year’s campaign theme is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right. Food insecurity in itself has serious health consequences for children as well as adults. Children from families that struggle with food insecurity are more likely to experience poor physical health and hospitalization, developmental delays, and often struggle in school. Many of the risks of hunger are the same as those of becoming obese including limited resources; lack of access to healthful, affordable foods; cycles of deprivation and overeating; and high levels of stress. While the public health crises of obesity and diet-related diseases affect all segments of the population, they disproportionately impact the communities we serve. By providing more healthful food, including an average of 5 million pounds of fresh produce annually,...
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Posted in Childhood hunger, GROW Up with Good Nutrition, Moble Pantry, Nutrition, Programs, Stop & Shop | Leave a comment

Needy families making tough choices

Jo-Ann, an unemployed single mother from New Haven, and her two teenage children have always tried to eat healthy. But eating nutritious foods has become more of a challenge since November 1, 2013. That’s when the family experienced a $36 a month cut to their monthly SNAP (food stamp) budget due to the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that passed four years ago. The ARRA had provided a temporary increase in SNAP benefits to help struggling low-income households provide enough food for their families during the recession. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, so I clip coupons and purchase what’s on sale to stretch my food budget,” said Jo-Ann. And while Americans ought to be adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets, it’s a bigger issue for Jo-Ann, who has high blood pressure. Even before her monthly food budget was cut, Jo-Ann was struggling at...
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Posted in Farm Bill, Nutrition, SNAP/Food Stamps, Unemployment | Leave a comment

Young anti-hunger advocates surpass expectations

Thanks to Trumbull’s Academically Gifted (TAG) fifth-grade students, Connecticut Food Bank can distribute approximately 9,300 more meals to low-income families in Connecticut! Since September, the students partnered with us on a service learning project about hunger in Connecticut.   According to TAG program leaders, service learning provides students with the opportunity to make a difference in their community.  And did they ever! Last night the ambitious boys and girls held an Expo to present the results of their hard work. They raised funds through bake sales, held a walkathon,  sponsored a “crazy hat day” fundraiser at school  and scheduled restaurant “give back” nights where a portion of the dining room sales were donated to Connecticut Food Bank.  Food drives were held, and volunteer hours were given at local soup kitchens, our Thanksgiving food drives and in our warehouses.  All with the goal of helping hungry men, women and children right in...
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Posted in Advocacy, Fund/food raising, Fundraising, Trumbull Academically Gifted Program | Leave a comment

The harmful effects of more SNAP cuts in Connecticut

Note: Since this blog entry was published, the Senate passed the Farm Bill on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. How many more meals can low-income Connecticut families afford to lose from their food budgets each month? According to the compromise farm bill passed by the House of Representatives on January 29, 2.4 million more meals would go missing each month from the tables of 70,000 low-income families in Connecticut as of January 2015.  The bill now goes to the Senate, where it could be voted on early next week before being signed into law by President Obama. This is the second cut in just three months to a program that is meant to protect our most vulnerable citizens.  On November 1, 2013, 1.4 million meals went missing each month in Connecticut when the ARRA SNAP benefit boost expired. The compromise farm bill’s $8.7 billion cut to SNAP funding over a 10-year period...
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Posted in Farm Bill, SNAP/Food Stamps | Leave a comment

Register for the 2014 Walk Against Hunger

Online registration is now open for Connecticut Food Bank’s 2014 Walk Against Hunger, at www.ctfoodbank.org/walk. The family-fun event takes place each spring in Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwich and Waterbury.  All four walks are 2.5 to 3 miles long with festivities beginning at 1 p.m. on the following dates and locations: 5th Annual Greater Bridgeport Walk Against Hunger Sunday, April 27, 2014, Seaside Park, Bridgeport 8th Annual Greater New Haven Walk Against Hunger Sunday, May 4, 2014, College Woods Pavilion at East Rock Park, New Haven 2nd Annual Eastern Connecticut Walk Against Hunger Sunday, May 18, 2014, Chelsea Parade, Norwich The Eastern Connecticut Walk Against Hunger benefits The Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and programs served by Connecticut Food Bank in Windham County. 9th Annual Greater Waterbury Walk Against Hunger Sunday, May 18, 2014, Hamilton Park, Waterbury (new location) Walk Against Hunger participants are supported by family members, friends,...
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Posted in Fund/food raising, Walk Against Hunger | Leave a comment

GROW Up with Good Nutrition initiative launched

Connecticut Food Bank is helping low-income families with young children gain access to healthy food and nutrition education through the new GROW up with Good Nutrition initiative. Thanks to a grant of $250,000 a year for three years from Stop & Shop’s Our Family Foundation, Connecticut Food Bank’s new “GROW!” Truck will travel to early childhood, pre-school daycare and Head Start Programs in Connecticut on a regular basis. The “GROW!” Truck is the focus of the program and currently visits three ABCD Head Start programs in Bridgeport.  Serving as a healthy “food pantry” on wheels, the “GROW!” Truck is a customized, refrigerated vehicle with shelves that are loaded with items such as apples, pears, grapefruit, oranges, potatoes, onions, carrots, low-fat milk, peanut butter, brown rice, tuna, ground beef and fish. Families enrolled in the program attend a brief nutrition education workshop before boarding the truck to “shop” for food.  They...
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Posted in ABCD Bridgeport, Childhood hunger, GROW Up with Good Nutrition, Stop & Shop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An act of kindness is paid forward

At the holidays, we hear about many wonderful stories of giving back.  We were so moved by one today that we wanted to share it. We received a call from a woman named Susan who recently asked her son to run many errands. One of his stops was to pick up a gingerbread house that she ordered.  When he went to pay for it, he realized he no longer had the check.  He must have dropped it along the way. A few days later, Susan was surprised to find her check was returned to her in the mail.  In the envelope was a note from a woman named Kim who found it in a parking lot in Norwalk.  Kim wrote that she was from Newtown and wanted to return the check before it fell into the wrong hands. Next to her signature was a reference to performing 26 acts of...
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Posted in Donors, Kids' BackPack Program, Uncategorized | Leave a comment