food insecurity

Pop-Up Food Bank Helps Feed New Haven Families

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Nearly 450 families in New Haven were able to stock up on food Thursday with the help of several community groups.

The pop-up food pantry at James Hillhouse High School was another way to fight ongoing food insecurity for so many in the city.

Four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has started to reopen, but the impacts of food security are still here.

"This is not a decreasing need yet. We have not come out of the woods on this," Paul Shipman, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Food Bank, said.

Cars rolled in along Sherman Parkway Thursday, making their way into Bowen Field, where volunteers waited with food by the armful.

"People are throwing out questions to me as I’m handing out the milk and it feels good to help out," Mayor Justin Elicker said.

The Connecticut Food Bank, United Way of Greater New Haven and the Coordinated Food Assistance Network came together for the pop-up food pantry.

"You look at the line of cars and it just shows how much need there is still in New Haven," Elicker said.

Elaine Peters took the bus from Fair Haven and walked up with her dog Coconut.

"It’s an opportunity to get provisions for my house and tell other people so they might be able to get some food in their house as well," Peters said.

She was thankful the event was open to people without cars, who waited in line as well. She said it's been a challenging time for so many people.

"What does it feel like when you don’t have food on your table?" 43?

The long lines are a scene we've become farmiliar with since March, with the Connecticut Food Bank running at least 30 events a month across the state.

"What we’ve seen continue is that there are folks still struggling to get their benefits, to get some assistance in food costs and housing costs," Shipman said.

The New Haven event helped with other important community issues, offering free COVID-19 tests and getting people registered to vote.

"It’s a wonderful community response to this challenge," Shipman said.

Because the pandemic is not over yet, the mayor said they’re going to continue to have events like this one throughout the summer to make sure people have access to food.

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