coronavirus

Food Banks and Pantries Work to Keep Up With Supply Demands

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Connecticut Food Banks are taking a direct hit due to COVID-19. Many are trying to keep up with the demand of those who may suffer from food insecurity.

Across the state, many of the food banks are hard at work to try and replenish their supplies while both regular and new clients ask for help.

Hockanum Valley Community Council is working around the clock to provide supplies for the public.

David O'Rourke is the CEO of the Hockanum Valley Community Council.

"The numbers of clients that we have coming in, having seemingly increased," said O'Rourke. "We've gotten more calls from people who are typically not using our pantry,."

Since the spread of COVID19, HVCC has worked to practice social distancing while still offering items for those who need it. The organization has already taken caution to protect the public, even canceling two of its biggest fundraisers.

"Those two fundraisers probably bring in about $100,000 to the organization to operate the programs that we provide," said O'Rourke.

Despite the cancellations, HVCC is still thinking about the people they serve.

"Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and they're going to be looking for food and resources as these days progress," said O'Rourke.

In Newington, the town's food pantry is working to provide supplies for families while practicing social distancing.

"We are examining the whole way that we've done business in the past," said Carol LaBrecque, director of Newington Human Services. "Due to this situation and trying to create social distancing, we have moved to a grab and go pre-packed-package.

Typically, clients are able to come in and chose which food items they need but with the threat of COVID-19, that option to come in is no longer available.

"Folks will come up and park in the car, let us know, they're here and have a pre-packed selection of food delivered to them," said LaBrecque.

The Salvation Army is also looking for any opportunities to bring in much-needed supplies.

"We're anticipating within the next couple of weeks into the next several months down the line, we're going to see an influx of people that are truly in need," said Laura Krueger, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army.

As resources become scarce, the Salvation Army is asking for those that can to donate.

"We don't have a lot of donations coming in so we hope that that will increase," said Krueger. "We'll take donations and we'll hold on to them for a couple of days and then we'll distribute them as needed out of our Hartford Location."

All pantries are asking for non-perishable food and household items.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Salvation Army, you can text GIVE GRH to 71777.

For any questions about Newington's Food Bank, you can call 860-665-8590.

If you would like to donate to HVCC, you can head to hvcchelps.org

Editor's note: A prior version of the story to text GIVE-GHR to 717-77.

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