Foodshare will continue to distribute food to families in need at Rentschler Field in East Hartford throughout the winter.
The food distribution at Rentschler Field will begin again on Tuesday, January 12, officials said. Every Tuesday through the winter, food will be given out from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. An end date has not yet been determined.
One allocation of food will be given to each car to ensure there is enough food for everyone, Foodshare said.
Foodshare has been distributing food at Rentschler Field in East Hartford since the pandemic began. Officials said that distribution site alone has served over 225,000 households.
“We successfully served hundreds of thousands of people with the Rentschler Field distribution during the spring, summer and fall, but winter weather in New England is always an incredible challenge," President and CEO of Foodshare Jason Jakubowski said in part in a statement.
"Our team worked tirelessly throughout the holidays to find a way to keep this distribution site going through the winter, and we are happy to report our efforts were successful," he added.
Monday, Jakubowski and Senator Richard Blumenthal met at a bi-weekly Foodshare mobile food pantry stop at a New Britain neighborhood.
While both took the time to praise the recent COVID-19 relief package and the federal dollars that will go towards food banks across the country, they stress it’s just a short-term solution for a long term problem.
“This is America in 2021. This hunger is real,” Blumenthal said.
Both say more funding will be needed as this need continues.
“We are very lucky in Connecticut that we have such a tremendous donor base that will keep us going. There are many food banks in America that the money allocated by the federal government is their only lifeline that will keep them open,” said Jakubowski.
“I volunteer as a way to give back. My husband does too, so we’re just paying it forward,” said Paulette Haithcox of New Britain.
She volunteered at the New Britain event, but sometimes she takes home food too.
”You pay your bills and there might not be a lot for everything else, so the food is a help.”
Local coordinator Maria Paredes says the food distribution programs she oversees are no longer just supporting senior citizens in the city, but people in many other situations too because of the pandemic.
“They’re helping family members. A lot of our clients are not just picking up for themselves,” said Paredes, elderly resident services coordinator for New Britain.