In the midst of the pandemic and economic downturn, so many families in the state are relying on help to put food on the table.
Now after months of talks two major food banks have announced they’re going to merge.
“Today was a really historic day,” said Jason Jakubowski, president & CEO of Foodshare.
Foodshare announced it’s merging with the Connecticut Food Bank.
Both organizations board of directors approved the union between the state’s two largest nonprofit anti-hunger groups.
The regional food banks provided nearly 40 million meals last year through various programs.
“There is no change from day to day. We’re not going to wake up Monday morning and the distribution of food is going to be different. People who are in need will still have the same services,” said Jakubowski.
Foodshare runs the Rentschler Field food distribution site in East Hartford and has expanded the drive-thru model to Norwich and Norwalk.
Hundreds of thousands of cars have lined up for food since the pandemic began.
“This really is a time of unprecedented need,” said Jakubowski.
By the numbers the new organization will have a $110 million budget, 115 employees and more than 8,000 volunteers.
As for why to combine now, Jakubowski says it was really driven by the realization that they could do more together especially as they look toward the future.
“We will be able to be more efficient. We will be hopefully able to reach more areas of the state and ultimately we want to be able to distribute more nutritious food to more people but also to help those individuals figure a way out of this cycle of poverty,” said Jakubowski.
Jakubowski will lead the new organization and a new name is expected to be chosen in the coming weeks.