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Category Archives: Nutrition

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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Also posted in Donors, Fundraising, 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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Also posted in Childhood hunger, GROW Up with Good Nutrition, Moble Pantry, 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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Also posted in Farm Bill, SNAP/Food Stamps, Unemployment | Leave a comment

Meet our Advocacy Hunger Action Hero

Keith Fontaine of Norwich is Connecticut Food Bank’s 2013 Advocacy Hunger Action Hero. Keith wants all to know that there a clear connection between food insecurity and overall health.  In his role as Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, he is an advocate for community health education and strong proponent of increasing access to fresh, healthy food for low-income men, women and children.   A leader in community solutions to fight hunger, Keith is a founder of the New London Food Policy Council and is Chairman of the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut which is the parent organization for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London.    Keith was recognized for his efforts Sunday at the 2013 Hunger Action Heroes Awards ceremony at our East Haven warehouse. We thank him and all our heroes for the work they do to help...
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Also posted in Advocacy, Hunger Action | Leave a comment

Spring Lake Gardens Farm partners with Putnam Food Pantry

Andy Meek and his wife Mel Collier-Meek, owners of Spring Lake Gardens in Sterling, Connecticut, are passionate about the land, local economy and their community. Their sustainable vegetable farm offers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares of fresh produce to families on a weekly basis and this growing season they’ve earmarked 10 CSA shares for donation to help those in need. Spring Lake Gardens also offered to deliver fresh vegetables to one of Connecticut Food Bank’s member programs along their delivery route in Eastern Connecticut. This season Spring Lake Gardens is delivering bags of fresh produce to Putnam’s Interfaith Human Services Daily Bread Pantry each week. The pantry, part of the community for 30 years, has an initiative to offer more fresh vegetables to its 215 clients. Those served include homeless individuals, single parents, families, senior citizens and those receiving assistance from state and federal programs. “Getting healthy food to our...
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Also posted in Farm/Farmers, Food Pantry | Leave a comment

Volunteers needed on long-term basis

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community on an ongoing basis?  Connecticut Food Bank is looking for volunteers to help with a very important nutritional program that helps improve the lives of people who struggle to put food on the table.  Read the description below, and if interested, we encourage you to contact our Volunteer Coordinator Kim Damien, kdamien@ctfoodbank.org  or 203-469-5000. What/Where:  Volunteers are needed to assist with the Mobile Food Pantry distribution at the Brennan- Rogers School in New Haven on the third Thursday of each month through the remainder of the school year. When: 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. Why: This program distributes fresh produce, whole grain and dairy items to families whose children attend the school. Requirements: Volunteers must enjoy helping people, have the ability to lift 25 pounds, and ability to withstand varying weather conditions (this is an outdoor event). This opportunity is...
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Also posted in Childhood hunger, Kids' BackPack Program, Mobile Food Pantry, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment

SNAP Challenge – Day 6: Trying to find a balance

Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days. I am sitting here, staring at the computer with a raging headache, trying to concentrate on what it is I might want to write in today’s journal entry. I’ve had this headache on and off for two days. I’m on the sixth day of the Challenge. I am finding that even when I eat enough so that I don’t feel hungry, I am still not feeling well. I can’t help but think it has to do with a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Today’s menu is much like the past few days: oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast, lentils and rice for lunch,...
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Also posted in Deb Heinrich, Emergency Management, Hunger Action, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SNAP Challenge – Day 4: Analysis and a Visit

Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days. Analysis Again, I started the day with oatmeal with brown sugar. I like oatmeal a lot, but I am having a harder and harder time putting the spoon in my mouth. Eating like this does lack a bit of variety. I know that eating a variety of foods gives you a better chance of getting the nutrients you need. I was feeling very hungry and tired yesterday so I did a little analysis of what kind of nutrition I was getting. First of all, I want to say that it is not as easy as one might think to figure out what you are...
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Also posted in Deb Heinrich, Hunger Action, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SNAP Challenge – Day 3: Hunger

Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days. Today is the first day that I have really felt very, very hungry. I started the day with my obligatory bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of brown sugar. At about 11a.m., I started longing for lunch and feeling a bit tired. For lunch, I had an apple dipped in about three tablespoons of peanut butter. I chose a red delicious apple because I recently read an article that said the skin in a red delicious apple has more vitamins in it than any other apple variety. It filled me up at the time, but at about 3:00 pm, I got really, really hungry....
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Also posted in Advocacy, Deb Heinrich, Hunger Action, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SNAP Challenge – Day 2: Craving Eggs

Editor’s Note: Deb Heinrich, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s liaison to the state’s nonprofit community, agreed to take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge this month and live on $4 a day for food for a week. We are posting her experience in this blog over the next few days. Day 2: It is hard to concentrate when you are hungry. I woke up craving eggs this morning. I had oatmeal with brown sugar. One serving today. For lunch, I wrapped leftover black beans and rice in two soft taco shells with salsa and packed it away to bring with me to work. It traveled better than I thought it would. My colleagues went out to lunch together today. I did not. For dinner, I made lentil soup with onion, celery, carrot and the diced tomatoes. I missed putting potatoes and zucchini in it. I put in extra salt in place of the pepper,...
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Also posted in Childhood hunger, Deb Heinrich, Guest Blogger, Hunger Action, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment