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Food disparities continue to impact communities of color in Connecticut ahead of holiday season

CT Foodshare CEO, Jason Jakubowski said despite being more than a year into the pandemic, there are still 480,000 people in Connecticut who are food insecure.

HARTFORD, Conn. — As we enter another holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurities remain an issue for many families across Connecticut. 

"There's definitely a lot of focus around hunger at the holidays," Jason Jakubowski, president and CEO of Connecticut Foodshare, told FOX61. "But what people don't remember is that even here in a state like Connecticut, which is the wealthiest state in the country, we are in a position where hunger is a problem 365 days a year." 

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Jakubowski emphasized that despite being more than a year into the pandemic, there are still 480,000 people in Connecticut who are food insecure. 

"The numbers have calmed down since it peaked about a year ago during the pandemic," Jakubowski said.

Still, he said, there's work to be done.

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"While it was more severe a year ago in terms of food insecurity, not to mention COVID in general, and we're better off today, there are still thousands of people who are being left behind," Gov. Ned Lamont explained.

Monica Obrebski with Connecticut Foodshare said the organization is working to make a difference.

"In the cities throughout Connecticut, we're seeing the food disparities even more," Obremski said. "So we are working with our food pantries to make sure they are equipped to help with those needs."

Jakubowski noted that while pandemic food insecurities started leveling off, significant disparities between Black and brown communities and White communities still exist. 

In a recent Connecticut Foodshare survey of more than 1,000 residents, people of color experienced higher rates of food insecurities.

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The Foodshare Food Access in Connecticut: One Year into the COVID19 Pandemic survey report, results showed that  43% of people of color (Black and Hispanics) were food insecure compared to 26% of White people that were surveyed. 

"All 169 towns in Connecticut have somebody who is food insecure," Jakubowski stressed. "Until we acknowledge that, and accept that, and come together to find a solution there's still going to be so many disparities."

For food resources, click here

RELATED: Connecticut Foodshare aims to collect more than 51,000 Thanksgiving turkeys for families in need

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.comFollow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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