Increasing the Amount of Food Available

NEW - family happy 2012 stock

Because there is such a large gap between the need for food and the amount of food available, we have to work on every source for food, both Foodshare’s own sources and those outside of Foodshare. And we have several programs that are doing just that.

NEW - food banking warehouse regional market 2011

Food Banking

Last year Foodshare increased the amount of food it distributed by 20 percent, providing enough food for 12 million meals to 300 partner programs. The food comes mostly from large food industry donors, as well as the federal government.

NEW - Target Retail Pick-up 2012

Retail Pick-up

Most large food industry sources are already donating to Foodshare, so to grow our supply further, we are turning to smaller retail stores. We rely on volunteers to pick up the food in their own cars and deliver it directly to local food pantries, community kitchens, and other partner programs. We believe there may be an additional 2.5 million meals worth of food available from these sources.

NEW - Media Disaster Relief MREs 2011

Disaster Relief

Foodshare is part of Connecticut’s emergency response system, providing food to those who are affected by local or regional disasters. We also store food here for FEMA, as part of the national disaster relief programs.

NEW - SNAP client pantry 2011

SNAP Outreach

The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as Food Stamps, is perhaps the most powerful tool for increasing the amount of food available to people in our area. The average SNAP benefit can provide 540 meals per year—almost six times as much as Foodshare. We train volunteers to help people apply, so more people can receive those benefits.

NEW - School lunch summer food 2010 Enfield

School Breakfast & Lunch

School breakfast and lunch programs are an essential nutritional lifeline for low-income students. For many of them, this food is the best they will get all day, and sometimes the only food. The federal government funds these programs, but schools have to apply for that money, and Connecticut schools do so at a rate that is the lowest in the nation.

NEW - Summer Food free meals sign 2010

Summer Food

For many low-income students, school meals are their primary source of nutrition, but they only get it when school is in session. The Summer Meals program fills that gap, providing food all summer long. But Connecticut does not take full advantage of this federal funding. Current participation in the program is at 24 percent.

NEW - HAT pledge 2012 Annual Meeting

Hunger Action Teams

These coalitions include all facets of a given community—faith groups, town government, nonprofits, businesses, schools, fire and police departments—working together to understand the causes of hunger in their community and to find long term solutions. They work on all three of Foodshare’s strategies: increasing the amount of food, building self-sufficiency, and involving the community.