food insecurity

Connecticut Foodshare Helping Families Amid Rising Costs

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From rising gas prices to rising food prices, a trip to the grocery store is costing us all a lot more.

“I come to the store I think I’m going to spend $50, and I walk out spending $180. It’s just ridiculous,” said Wallingford resident Margaret Paturzo.

Shoppers like Paturzo say they’ve noticed the higher prices in every aisle.

Many of us are taking a closer look at what we buy, and families who are struggling are depending even more on nonprofits like Connecticut Foodshare.

“We’re definitely seeing an uptick in the number of people coming to our pantries and needing our services,” said Connecticut Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski.

Jakubowski said June, July and August are usually their most difficult months of the year. That’s mostly because kids are out of school.

“Kids are used to getting one, sometimes two, sometimes even three meals a day at their local school, and that ends immediately. We know that we're going to see more families coming to our mobile trucks. We know that our pantries are going to see more families lining up there,” Jakubowski said.

Connecticut Foodshare said supply chain issues are also having an effect. About a month ago, they were running low on white rice and pasta, items they normally have no problem keeping in stock.

And rising costs from inflation are hitting everyone.

“It’s straining the people that we serve because they’re able to buy less with what they have. On the other hand, it’s also hurting us because we’re paying more for what we have collected, for what we need out there in the community. For example, some products have gone up as much as 35%, sometimes 40%,” Jakubowski said.

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Jakubowski said a trailer-load of peanut butter may have cost them $37,000 a year ago, but is now closer to $43,000.

He said summertime is the most difficult time for food insecurity, and that they’re ready to help those in need.

“Hunger affects anybody. Could be your neighbor, could be your friend, could be family member. All 169 towns have at least one family in them here in Connecticut that is food insecure, so it doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter what your zip code is. Hunger doesn't care. It's out there,” Jakubowski said.

If you’d like to donate to Connecticut Foodshare or learn more about the nonprofit, you can head to their website.

For those in need, you can go to the website or you can also dial 2-1-1.

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