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Local Food Pantries Step Up to COVID Challenges

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One of the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdown has been a drastic increase in hunger in our state. In the six-county region served by the Connecticut Food Bank, the number of people who were food insecure rose by 44% between March and June to a total of 400,000 people. But at the local level, soup kitchens and food pantries have risen to that challenge, with 90% of them staying open through the pandemic and continuing to deliver food to those in need.

Liberty is proud to have made emergency grants not only to the three largest food banks in the state (Foodshare, Connecticut Food Bank, and the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center), but also more recently to five local nonprofit food providers:

  • Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, New Haven
  • Hands On Hartford
  • Master’s Manna, Wallingford
  • Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries, lower Middlesex County
  • St. Vincent De Paul Place, Norwich

Each of these nonprofits received $5,000 to offset unexpected costs generated by the pandemic, including PPE, cleaning supplies, equipment and supplies to support contactless pickup and delivery, added staff, and more.

It’s been an inspiration to all of us at Liberty to see local agencies like these step up to meet the increased demand for services, while struggling with staff reductions, revenue losses, and the same health concerns we all are facing.  Their staff and volunteers are among the many heroes who have been revealed during this pandemic.  A big THANK YOU to all of them for working so hard to feed our neighbors!