Continuing their efforts to combat food insecurity, Connecticut Foodshare aimed to distribute 51,000 Thanksgiving dinners by Wednesday. Goal accomplished. A day early.
“They are out the door. They are at our partner agencies and they will have those turkeys to people within the next 24 hours,” said Connecticut Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski.
In total, 51,291 turkeys and all the fixin’s have been distributed to Foodshare’ 340 partners and agencies around the state.
“It’s a good thing, the people are participating in things like this. Especially around Thanksgiving,” said Herman Heywood, who was picking up food Tuesday to dispersed at West Haven’s Christian Union Church.
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, literally tons of food were being packaged and loaded into trucks leaving Foodshare’s Wallingford warehouse. The colossal effort required Foodshare employees and volunteers, including some from the US Coast Guard.
“A lot of us have family members family members who actually don’t get enough on Thanksgiving,” said Nicholas Gutierrez. “We want to help people in similar situations.”
Using some of the food from Connecticut Foodshare, Christian Community Action’ (CCA) pantry packaged around 1,200 meals themselves. A sign, they say, of continued need.
“It’s still there, and it’s just become more difficult with Covid,” said CCA Director of Emergency Family Services Nicole Smith.
Among those receiving food Tuesday was Gus Lane. Without the aid of the pantry, Lane says he would still try to find a way, but appreciates the help.
“I think it’s a great thing because prices are going up on everything. It’s a little tough,” he said.
Jakubowski says, the food distributed is a combination of donated items and purchased. Solicitations began November 1 with packing and distribution all done in the last 10 days.
“It’s a lot of work in a very condensed period of time but when we saw that last truck of turkeys go out (Tuesday), it was a great feeling,” he said.