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Category Archives: Unemployment

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, Nutrition, SNAP/Food Stamps | Leave a comment

Appreciation for Connecticut’s Congressional Members vote on hunger relief

Deficit reduction is vital to our long-term economic opportunity and security. But that doesn’t mean it can be undertaken without regard to our national values. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives left values on the sideline when it moved forward with the Nutrition portion of the Farm Bill – that would cut food assistance for our nation’s hungry by nearly $40 billion.  Connecticut’s delegation however, voted against these cuts.  We thank them for their commitment to helping those who struggle with food insecurity. Now legislation to cut SNAP will be taken up by the Senate. Under the legislation, millions of struggling Americans would see their food assistance cut or eliminated entirely, this at a time when all SNAP/food stamp participants are already scheduled to receive a benefit cut this November. Some like to point to the great work that food banks are doing to suggest that hunger is better solved by...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Feeding America, Recession, SNAP/Food Stamps | Leave a comment

Working people in need of food assistance

Record numbers of employed people are hungry The subject line in Connecticut Food Bank’s email inbox was just two words, Need Help. It was from a working mother asking if she could attend the mobile pantry distribution in Middletown that week. “I am out of food for the week but still have some gas left.  We don’t have any fresh food, dairy or grains.  We don’t qualify for any assistance, have jobs but can’t make ends meet anymore. Please let me know.” It was signed, Humbled in East Lyme. This email could have been from anywhere in Connecticut as the number of employed people who are having trouble making ends meet continues to escalate. This is not a surprise to Connecticut Food Bank, as results from the 2013 Map the Meal Gap research released by Feeding America in June show 57 percent of Connecticut residents who are food insecure do not...
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Also posted in Food Pantry, Map the Meal Gap, Moble Pantry, Recession, SNAP/Food Stamps | Leave a comment

Fifteen Percent of Connecticut Households Can’t Afford the Food They Need

Fifteen percent of Connecticut residents surveyed in the first half of 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 family.  The survey results, up slightly over the previous six months, are according to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC’s) series of analyses of survey 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 the first half of 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?” “These  results only confirm what our network of...
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Also posted in Nancy Carrington, Recession | Leave a comment

Deficit reduction must reflect American values

The following opinion editorial by Connecticut Food Bank’s President & CEO Nancy L. Carrington, was published in the Waterbury Republican-American on Sunday, June 3, 2012 Deficit reduction is an important national priority, vital to our long-term economic opportunity and security. But just because it’s important doesn’t mean that it can be undertaken without regard to our national values. Taking care of our neighbors is an American value, and feeding our neighbors is a shared responsibility.  Unfortunately, a shocking proposal by House Republicans to cut food assistance for our nation’s hungry by over $33 billion goes against our core values as a nation.  The cuts are proposed in the name of deficit reduction, but does not excuse the fact that cuts to anti-hunger programs at a time when need has never been greater are both reckless and short-sighted.  We are grateful that this value is reflected in Washington through important anti-hunger...
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Also posted in Nancy Carrington, SNAP/Food Stamps, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Path from Unemployment to Serving People in Need

This time last year, Sonia Rivera was unemployed. She lost her job in April 2009 after she was laid off as part of a national company’s efforts to cut costs and downsize. It was the first time since college that Sonia didn’t have a job. For 16 years, Sonia was a traffic manager, managing more than a dozen employees and a fleet of eight to nine trucks a day that served the tri-state area. It was a job she loved and enjoyed doing. But like many hundreds of thousands of workers, the poor economy forced Sonia’s company to cut jobs, driving about 30 workers to the unemployment lines. Sonia took some time off for herself, but quickly started to look for a job in earnest. She said she was fortunate because her family, including then 10-year-old daughter Vanessa, had her husband’s income and her unemployment benefits to help them through...
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Also posted in Volunteers | 1 Comment

Meatless Monday (Maybe) and Tuesday and Wednesday…

Editor’s Note: Below is a guest post from Elaine Piraino-Holevoet of PIROET Design, who initially posted the entry on her blog, called ontheroadtogreenness. The blog is a tale of one person’s lifelong journey to becoming a good person living a green lifestyle. It is also the story of the people she has met, the things she has tried, the places she has traveled, and the ideas she has encountered along the way. These are all recounted in the hope of getting others to join her on her quest to save the planet. The blog entry below is reprinted with permission. Many who go without meat on Monday have made a conscious decision to do so—perhaps to improve their health or because they are concerned about climate change. Some are vegetarians or vegans and go without meat every day for ethical reasons. Whatever the motivation, it is a privilege when one...
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Also posted in Guest Blogger, Nutrition, Public Awareness, Recession, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Hurricane Recession Has Passed, But Devastation Lingers

When I heard the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) proclaim on Sept. 20 that the recession was over, my immediate, knee-jerk reaction was: “You’ve got to be kidding me!” According to the NBER, a nonpartisan group of economists, the recession actually ended last year—June 2009. Like many people, I want the recession to be over for both personal and professional reasons. But like many people who see everyday the human effects of the devastation of this so-called Great Recession I can’t help but utter disbelief in what economists are saying out loud. Let’s not forget, five days before the NBER said the recession was over, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that more people are struggling with poverty—hitting the highest level recorded since 1994. And children felt the hardest poverty hit, with one child in five affected, according to The New York Times. And on Thursday at our biennial Programs...
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Also posted in Recession | Leave a comment

On Labor Day, let’s remember the unemployed and underemployed

As we headed into the Labor Day weekend, The New York Times published a story about the latest unemployment figures initially titled “U.S. Lost Jobs in August, but Fewer Than Expected.” Friday’s headline seemingly tried to soften the blow of a harsh truth. More people are still losing their jobs, but, hey, it’s not as much as we expected. If you drill further down into the story you will find the number of unemployed people in the country jumped from 14.59 million in July to 14.86 million in August. By the end of the story, you learn about the people willing to take any job, even if it means taking a pay cut, just as long as they have a job. That’s the underemployed. And their numbers have “reached historic highs” in Connecticut, the Hartford Business Journal reported. The underemployed includes people who saw their full-time hours reduced to part-time...
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