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Category Archives: Childhood hunger

Map the Meal Gap: Connecticut’s food insecurity rate is nearly 14%

Nearly 14 percent, or 498,460 of Connecticut’s residents are food insecure according to the 2014 “Map the Meal Gap” study, which offers a detailed look at the food budget required to meet the needs of families struggling with hunger here in Connecticut. The study shows it would take more than $255 million to meet the needs of Connecticut’s food insecure population, or $16.87 per week for each food insecure person. Although 2013 data showed a 14.5 percent food insecurity rate, there is a $16 million food budget shortfall increase this year.  The average cost of a meal in Connecticut increased from $2.82 to $2.92 or an extra $1.71 per week for each food insecure person. Fairfield County has among the highest food costs in Connecticut ($3.31 per meal), with New Haven County having the highest (14.4%) food insecurity rate in the state.  In Connecticut 45.7 percent of the food insecure population...
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Also posted in Map the Meal Gap | 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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Also posted in GROW Up with Good Nutrition, Moble Pantry, Nutrition, Programs, Stop & Shop | 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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Also posted in ABCD Bridgeport, GROW Up with Good Nutrition, Stop & Shop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Giving Thanks to Trumbull’s Academically Gifted Students

Over the last couple of months, Connecticut Food Bank has had the privilege of working with a group of extremely bright and talented fifth graders enrolled in Trumbull’s Academically Gifted Program. The 25+ students have taken on Hunger in Connecticut as their service learning project and invited us to lead some discussions about local hunger and what they can do to help their hungry neighbors. We attended yesterday’s seminar to talk about what they can do now, and in the future to help solve the problem of hunger.  We also talked about how their service learning project could lead to a career in the nonprofit world. At the end of the class, the students presented us with a beautful card to thank us for “teaching and inspiring us to help those with hunger insecurities.” Here’s what some of the students had to say: Thank you for teaching us about hunger, it made me so much...
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Also posted in Trumbull Academically Gifted Program, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

As sequestration budget cuts loom: 14.6% CT households unable to afford enough food

In Connecticut, 14.6 percent of residents surveyed in 2012 said that in the prior 12 months there were times when they did not have enough money to buy the food they needed for themselves or their families. The survey results are according to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC’s) series of analyses of data on food hardship collected by Gallup as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.                                                    The survey looks at the most recent available food hardship rates by state for 2012. It is part of a year-round survey that began in January 2008.  One thousand individuals per day are asked, “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”  The data comes on the heels of sequestration, automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect at midnight on March 1.  Under these...
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Also posted in Advocacy, FRAC, Senior Hunger | Leave a comment

Deficit reduction is about people, not numbers

By Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank President & CEO The following opinion editorial appeared in the December 26, 2012, edition of the New Haven Register.   As our nation’s leaders work to find a balanced agreement on deficit reduction, it is important to remember that this conversation is about more than just numbers. It’s about people.  When talking about trillions of dollars, it is easy to lose perspective and think of these decisions as just numbers on a balance sheet. But the decisions that are being made right now will have a lasting impact on real people right here in Connecticut – your neighbors, your colleagues, people who are part of the fabric of our community.  To understand that point, you need only make a visit to your local food bank, church pantry, soup kitchen, or other agencies in our community helping to put food on the table for struggling Connecticut...
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Also posted in Advocacy, Nancy Carrington, SNAP/Food Stamps | Leave a comment

One donor’s story: From food stamps to Greenwich

Connecticut Food Bank supporter Bethany Johnson lives with her husband Erik in affluent Old Greenwich. The lively 30-something donor teaches history at several New York State colleges, has run her own non-profit, and has always been passionate about food. Meeting her, you would never know that Bethany faced hunger on a daily basis. But growing up in the rust belt city of Syracuse, New York, Bethany, along with her parents and younger sister, suffered from food insecurity and lived on welfare until she was seven. It was these life experiences that inspired Bethany to donate to Connecticut Food Bank. Bethany’s upbringing belies the stereotype of food-insecure families: both of her parents worked full-time – “under-employed” would describe their plight.   “I grew up relatively poor,” Bethany said, “although I saw people who were worse-off than we were.”  This was the reason her mother gave for refusing the two sisters request...
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Also posted in Donors, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Study shows nearly 19 percent of Connecticut’s children at risk of hunger

Connecticut Food Bank and the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, Feeding America, are releasing a study today that reveals the number of Connecticut children who are struggling with hunger.  The Child Food Insecurity 2012 Study shows Connecticut’s overall child food insecurity rate is 18.8 percent, or 151,530 children state wide.  This number is unchanged from last year’s overall rate of 18.9 percent.  Food insecurity is a phrase used by the USDA to describe lack of consistent access to adequate amounts of food for an active, healthy life. In Connecticut Food Bank’s service area, which includes Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham Counties, the child food insecurity rate is 16.9 percent, or 99,610 children.  According to the study, 48 percent of the food insecure children in Connecticut Food Bank’s service area do not receive federal food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps), free or reduced price school...
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Also posted in Feeding America, Nancy Carrington, Summer Hunger | Leave a comment

Help us get “More Milk” for hungry children this summer

Summer is a time of high anxiety for low-income families who must provide 200 extra meals for each child when school is not in session.  To help make a difference in the lives of these children, The Farmer’s Cow is donating a half gallon of milk to Connecticut Food Bank – up to 5,000 gallons during the months of July and August – for every four electronic greeting cards that are emailed to help spread the word about the problem of summer hunger.  Contrary to what many people believe, the highest demand for food assistance to hungry families is during the summer.  “The number of children who have little or no food during the summer months is alarming,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s president & CEO.   “Nearly one out of every five children in Connecticut is at risk of hunger, which is more than 109,000 children in Connecticut...
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Also posted in Farm/Farmers, Fund/food raising, Nancy Carrington, Public Awareness, Summer Hunger | Leave a comment

Dunkin’ Donuts employees host “Pack-a-Thon” for Kids’ BackPack Program

Our Kids’ BackPack Program recently received a major boost from 300 Dunkin’ Donuts corporate employees. For the second consecutive year the “BackPack Pack-a-Thon” event at the Mohegan Sun Arena was held to determine which Dunkin’ Donuts employee team could fill the most bags with nutritious food in an hour.  In the weeks and days leading up to the event, teams with names like “Brew Crew,” “Top Javas” and “Raise the Dough,” practiced and strategized on how they could outperform the others and win the coveted “Golden BackPack” award from Connecticut Food Bank. In the end, more than 7,500 bags were filled with healthy food for more than 2,000 Connecticut children who receive the food on weekends when they don’t have access to school meals.    In addition, The Dunkin Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation presented Connecticut Food Bank with a $6,000 donation to support the Kids’ BackPack Program. “Connecticut Food Bank...
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Also posted in Kids' BackPack Program, Nancy Carrington, Programs, SNAP/Food Stamps, Volunteers | Leave a comment