Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Volunteering at the CT Food Bank

Hi Y'All! I hope you had a festive holiday weekend. Ours was low key and filled with gardening. I will posted about what we did at a later time. 

Today I wanted to share with you my experience with volunteering at the CT Food Bank. The company I currently work for gives back to the local community through various ways. Last Wednesday a group of us went to the CT Food Bank to learn about what they do, food insecurity, and help package food. 

The mission of Connecticut Food Bank is to provide nutritious food to people in need. They strive to do this by supplying food products and resources to their member agencies, and to promote public awareness about the problem of hunger. They provide food and resources to nearly 700 community-based food programs, such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and low-income adult and child day programs in six of the state’s eight counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham.

We were greeted by Cheryl who spoke to us about hunger 101. In Connecticut, one in seven households can’t always afford the food they need. Hunger 101 gives people a taste of what food insecurity—or hunger—really is. Participants walk in someone else’s shoes and see firsthand what it’s like to struggle with poverty and food insecurity in Connecticut. Hunger 101 captures the daily stress of hunger as we learn how to feed a family for a day with no or limited resources. 

We were divided into groups and given cards each had on it a meal and cost of that meal. We had to feed a mom and 2 kids, 3 meals each with only $7.00 to spend. Oh how sad this exercise was, the options were minimal and of not good nutritional value. Here is what are meal plan consisted of: 
     Breakfast: a bowl of cereal with milk for the kids and no breakfast for mom
     Lunch: the kids received a free school lunch and mom has a frozen turkey meal
     Dinner: all 3 had a bowl of mac and cheese

Sad isn't it?

 Next we toured the warehouse and were put in the hands of Craig and Rick, they instructed us on what we would be packing tonight. Just delivered today was a pallet of fresh fruit and vegetables. They need to be turned around rather quickly to reach the hands of the people in need. We donned our latex gloves and got to work. We packaged mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, onion, potatoes, lettuce, leeks, and asparagus.

We were all impressed with the quality of the food that was donated by local companies.

It really felt good to be giving back. 

It was hard work, but is was rewarding and we had an awesome time.

Connecticut Food Bank is the largest centralized source of emergency food in Connecticut and distributes an average of 40 tons of food every business day through three warehouses in East Haven, Fairfield and Waterbury, and affiliated distribution centers in New London and Stamford. Connecticut Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks across the U.S. Conducted every four years, Hunger in America, also known as the Hunger Study, is the largest study of charitable food assistance in America. Results of the study provides client household demographics and the challenges that people who are served by Connecticut Food Bank’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters face. Among the key findings are that 45 percent of households served used three or more coping strategies in the last 12 months for getting enough food to feed themselves and their family: 
  • 73% of client households report purchasing the cheapest foods available, even if they knew it wasn’t the healthiest option
  • 54% of client households report receiving help from family and friends o 41 percent of client households watered down food or drinks
  • 35% of client households pawned or sold personal property 
Also in the past year:
  • 73% report of choosing between paying for food and utilities
  • 69% report making choices between paying for food and transportation
  • 68% report making choices between paying for food and medicine
  • 63% report making choices between paying for food and for housing
  • 35% report choosing between paying for food and paying for education expenses 
The numbers are staggering. This really was an eye opener for all of us. This just goes to show you how important it is to donate to your local food bank. Any donation goes a long way to helping a food insecure family.

        Have a blessed day!


  1. Wow that is some undertaking. You all did a wonderful job giving back.

    1. You know we had such a good time that we didn't even realize all we had done. Thanks for visiting.