Distributions are in partnership with New London Mayor’s Office
Wallingford, CT – Two Connecticut Food Bank mobile food distributions will be held in New London on Wednesday, August 19. These events will provide enough food for approximately 30,000 meals. The distributions, in partnership with New London Mayor Michael Passero, will take place at Fort Trumbull from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM open to visitors in cars. Vehicles will enter the site from East Street and will exit the site from Smith Street. New London Police will be on hand to direct traffic. A second distribution site at 90 Garfield Avenue will serve people without vehicles.
Connecticut Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Daniel Gomez said the distributions are a collaboration to address rising food insecurity in New London. “We have seen people across our state struggle with hunger due to jobs lost in this pandemic. Research from Feeding America projects that food insecurity in New London County will rise this year by 50%.” Mr. Gomez said 1 in 4 children in New London County is expected to face food insecurity this year. As federal pandemic unemployment assistance and a moratorium on evictions end, reliance on food assistance remains high.
The food distributed by Connecticut Food Bank at mobile sites is a supplement to the tens of millions of pounds each year that its network of community-based pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters provide to people in need. Connecticut Food Bank operates or supplies a combined number of 500 food access points across its six-county service area. “We are grateful to our member agencies and we provide these mobile distributions to alleviate some of the pressure on them caused by this increasing demand.”
Connecticut Food Bank continues to add mobile distributions as need increases and site partners can be identified. “This mobile distribution joins a growing number of sites we are adding to our calendar,” Mr. Gomez said. “We expect to average 50 mobile distributions each month by the end of this year, up from 30 in June. Additionally, the Connecticut Food Bank recently launched the Dairy Express delivery program, which provides fresh milk daily to a number of sites across our six-county service area.”
Mr. Gomez said Connecticut Food Bank has had to adjust its practices as the pandemic “turned the food bank model upside down.” Before the pandemic, two-thirds of the food distributed by Connecticut Food Bank came from food industry donations. The pandemic disrupted the food supply and product donations plunged by as much as 60% and have not rebounded. Connecticut Food Bank is purchasing food to fill the gap. Mr. Gomez said the Food Bank has purchased more food in the past four months than it had in the prior six years. “We are grateful to financial donors that came forward to support this growing need; we hope they will continue to help in the challenging months ahead.”
Mr. Gomez said the increased reliance on purchased food is a financial challenge, but it has helped to stabilize the food supply and distribution to Connecticut Food Bank member agencies. “We are now able to offer increased amounts of food to our network of member agencies, which continue to see high demand in our communities.”
Individuals coming to the food distribution at Fort Trumbull in vehicles should enter the site on East Street and follow all direction and safety instructions. There will be guidance on social distancing at the walk-up site at 90 Garfield Avenue. Food will be distributed through a contactless system to protect both visitors and workers from spread of COVID-19.