It is that time for gratitude and giving back…

Thanksgiving is a time when many people think of sharing the season’s bounty. There are many ways to assist Connecticut’s two regional food banks to help people in need celebrate the holiday… and beyond.

Last year, Walker’s clients, Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank, distributed enough food to provide more than 31 million meals to people in need. Connecticut is one of the nation’s wealthiest states, but every community has residents who struggle with hunger. More than 13% of people in Connecticut are not sure what they will eat tonight…. or whether they will eat at all. One in six Connecticut children – more than 127,000 – will face that shocking situation each night.

The food they provide to their combined network of more than 1,000 local food assistance programs is a lifeline. It means children get the food they need to grow and learn or that seniors don’t need to choose between medications or heat and having enough food to eat. For the thousands of people who work one or more jobs and still have trouble making ends meet, it means that their budgets can stretch to cover rent or the cost of getting to work. And these organizations continue to advocate in support of federal safety net programs through meetings with local, state and federal elected officials to ensure their neighbors get more consistent access to healthy food.

Think about shopping at the grocery store. You have $1 you’re dedicating to shopping for a food drive donation – perhaps a box of pasta, a bag of rice or canned beans. If you give the food banks that dollar instead, it takes on the power of $4, purchasing groceries at wholesale prices. And the food banks can purchase a wider variety of foods than it can accept at community food drives that lack refrigerated storage. They can source fresh produce, frozen meat, dairy products and so much more. That increased range of food means that people in need have access to nutritious foods that help them to stay healthier and might not otherwise be available to them.

To really make a difference in the fight against hunger, help is needed all year. Many people who need food assistance need it temporarily, and that need can happen at any time. A medical emergency, loss of a job, an unexpected car repair bill or the loss of a loved one can mean the difference between stable income and financial distress. Sometimes, getting help with food expenses can provide a family the extra resources they need to return to stability.

To make sure that food is available for those in need throughout the year, financial donations are the most effective way to help. These food banks survive on donations – of money, of food and of time! Here are the methods in which you can help these critical, worthy organizations:

Foodshare

  • In person at the Bloomfield facility or any of their convenient donation sites listed at ATurkeyand30.org
  • Online at foodshare.org
  • By mail (payable to Foodshare) at 450 Woodland Ave, Bloomfield, CT 06002
  • By phone (860-856-4367) or text CTFOODSHARE to 41444

Connecticut Food Bank

  • In person at the 2 Research Pkwy, Wallingford, CT 06492 or the 74 Linwood Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06824 locations
  • Online at ctfoodbank.org/Thanksgiving (food donations) or ctfoodbank.org/volunteer
  • By mail (payable to Connecticut Food Bank) at 2 Research Pkwy, Wallingford, CT 06492
  • By phone (203-469-5000)