Foodshare has distributed food to people in 200,000 cars at Rentschler Field in East Hartford since the COVID pandemic started in March.
Foodshare plans to continue that distribution through November and over the last two weeks organizers started seeing more families face food insecurity. They would typically get 1,800 cars a day and now they’re serving about 2,200.
“We’re seeing so many new people right now. They’ve tried to make it or they just got laid off because they were furloughed, then they went back and they got laid off," said Dom Piccini, the logistics manager for Foodshare. "Don’t be afraid, come down, there’s no questions asked. We’re here to help you."
Moving forward in November, they will no longer be distributing food on Fridays. Distribution will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
Piccini encourages families to connect with their local food pantries because Rentschler Field was always meant to be an emergency site and they won’t be able to continue this throughout the winter.
Foodshare also always tries to collect thousands of turkeys every year.
Families won’t be getting turkeys at Rentschler Field. Turkeys will be distributed through local food pantries and those pantries are already compiling their lists.
Even collecting turkeys this year is more challenging because of COVID.
“Like everything else in the year 2020, it’s going to be different. We are not going to be able to be outside grocery stores, we are not going to be able to be out in the community collecting physical turkeys,” said Jason Jakubowski, the president and CEO of Foodshare.
Instead, Foodshare will be asking people to donate “virtual turkeys” for $16 a piece on their website starting November 1. Based on the current need in the community, Foodshare is projecting they’ll need at least 20,000 turkeys.
“We have so many restrictions in terms of how we can acquire the turkeys, yet the need is going to be higher than it has been in the last several years,” said Jakubowski.
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