Bloomfield, Conn., and Wallingford, Conn., January 27, 2021 – The boards of directors of both Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank voted this morning to approve a historic union between the state’s two largest nonprofit anti-hunger organizations. The transaction will be effective Saturday, January 30, 2021.
“Today is a historic day for the state of Connecticut,” said Wes Higgins, a past Connecticut Food Bank board chair who will chair the board of the new entity. “Now we will be able to address hunger with a united voice, a fully coordinated distribution model, and an integrated set of programs made available across the entire state.” With a combined annual budget of approximately $110 million, the new organization will be home to 115 employees and more than 8,000 annual volunteers. It will be led by current Foodshare President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Jakubowski.
“With Jason’s strong leadership and the support of the community, we know this combined team will be successful,” said Foodshare board chair Beth Henry, who will be vice chair of the new entity. “With the integration of our operations we can pool resources to better serve Connecticut residents who struggle with food insecurity. We can also utilize our combined donations to provide more efficient programs, better support our member agencies, assist seniors and children in need, and collaborate with the broader community to build effective solutions to end hunger.”
“I’m thrilled to be taking on this expanded role in the place I’ve called home my entire life,” said Jakubowski, a New Britain native and West Hartford resident who holds degrees from the University of Connecticut. “We have a tremendous team of staff and volunteers – and for many of us, this will be both the greatest honor and the greatest challenge of our careers.”
The new organization will be governed by a 23-member board of directors comprised of a mix of members of the outgoing Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank boards. The food banks will continue to operate out of their Wallingford, Bloomfield, and Bridgeport facilities and will continue to use their existing trade names until a new name is chosen in the coming weeks.
The unification process was facilitated by Debra Hertz, the principal of The Strategy Group, a nonprofit advisory firm in Darien. Foodshare was represented by Halloran & Sage in Hartford, and Connecticut Food Bank was represented by Wiggin & Dana in New Haven. Both food banks are members of Feeding America – the leading national anti-hunger organization.
“I commend the leadership at Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank for their strategic decision to unite these two great organizations,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Chief Executive Officer at Feeding America. “By merging their operations and their service areas, these food banks will be able to more effectively serve people across Connecticut and make a stronger impact on hunger statewide.”
Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare are Connecticut’s two regional food banks. Both are members of the national Feeding America network. Last year, Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare distributed enough food to provide nearly 40 million meals through a network of more than 700 community-based hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, community kitchens, and emergency shelters, while also working on long-term solutions to food insecurity. More than 8,000 volunteers help power the work of the food banks. Last year, they gave 62,000 hours of service.
Connecticut Food Bank is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CTFoodBank
Foodshare is on Facebook, Twitter @Foodshare and Instagram @FoodshareCT