NEW LONDON, Conn. — As prices continue to rise so does food insecurity for many families across Connecticut.
In New London County, 12.2% of families face food insecurity. One food distribution center in New London is trying to decrease hunger.
“So, we will pick out a box or two of protein and then pasta and then we’re able to pick out things that we are falling short with,” said Mary Mowan.
It’s not your typical grocery aisle, but Mowan will tell you it’s a very important one. Every Tuesday morning, she faithfully pushed this green cart up and down the aisles of Gemma E Moran United Way Food Center in New London.
This is a warehouse where food pantries across New London County, like Mary’s church, can come shop to fill their pantries for those in need.
“It means the world to be able to come and shop and pick out what we need,” said Mowan. “One of the biggest things that we are seeing is more and more people coming and it’s not the people you would have thought before as being food insecure. It’s like anybody is food insecure now.”
1 out of 7 children in New London County doesn’t know where their next meal may come from.
Dina Sears-Graves with United Way of Southeastern Connecticut said the rise in food insecurity is because of inflation.
“For a lot of it, it’s really about you’re juggling so many different things getting hit by inflation so if we can help in one area to alleviate the need in another that’s definitely the role that we play,” said Sears-Graves.
To fill their warehouse, they get donations from companies and community members.
“We have companies that will give us and provide us support to purchase food and we also get general donations from people to do that as well. People also run food drives which is amazing for us, and we get a lot of food through food drives,” said Sears-Graves.
She said they always see an influx of donations during the holiday season, but in just a few weeks things will be different.
“Once we get into the end of January and the beginning of February you see all of the amounts of this food will decrease rapidly so we are always looking for our community to continue to support and remember that food insecurity lasts all year round and not just the holiday season,” Sears-Graves.
Donations help people like Mary continue to serve her church's customers.
“Like United Way is there to help us, we’re there to help anyone who needs help,” said Mowan.
DeAndria Turner is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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