Capitol Connection: Foodshare

December 17, 2013

No one should go hungry. Unfortunately, people do. More than 520,000 people in Connecticut are at risk of hunger annually (CT Food Bank).

Despite these sad numbers, there are some amazing programs in our state that do incredible work to help eliminate hunger. One of these organizations is Foodshare in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

I spent an entire day at Foodshare last week, volunteering with my colleagues as part of Connecticut Light and Power’s “A Day of Caring” employee community service program. CL&P organizes these days of service throughout the year across the state. This season, my efforts helped food get to people in need in Hartford and Tolland counties.

During my day of service I packaged meat and poultry for distribution, and I learned about the organization’s approach to fighting hunger – an approach involving strong community partnerships.

Foodshare is primarily a regional food bank that distributes food to about 300 community kitchens, shelters and food pantries. On average, Foodshare serves 128,000 people with over 10 million meals annually.

Additionally, Foodshare is the leading local advocate for a hunger-free community. They have a three pronged goal: increase people’s self-sufficiency, engage the larger community in the fight against hunger, and provide food assistance through many partner organizations.

Foodshare operates on a direct service level and on a big picture level. They address both the immediate lack of food and the causes of hunger, namely poverty.

In addition to distributing food on a daily basis, advocates work together in “Hunger Action Teams” and partner with local government, social service agencies, schools and religious groups to jumpstart the conversation on change and improvement.

After my day of service, I knew I had to share Foodshare’s mission with others. I started planning a return trip for myself, along with my son and a group of his friends over winter break. I hope a day of service will inspire these kids to follow a lifetime of giving and volunteering.

I know I was inspired by the programs at Foodshare.

Not only does the organization address an important need, but the way the organization operates is equally inspiring. They realize the power in numbers and cooperation. Partnering with organizations throughout the area gives them hyper local reach. Organizing action teams to look at the root cause of hunger creates a lasting impact.

At Foodshare people realize simply meeting the need will never end hunger, but there is still an immediate need that must be met. I’m looking forward to my next trip to help address that immediate need, and I hope that over time my work will become a part of the larger effort to stop hunger from its start.

For more information on Foodshare call 860-286-9999, email [email protected], or visit