Did you know that 32% of adults and 35% of children in Connecticut do not eat fruits or vegetables daily?
We hear time and time again that the grocery store is where tough decisions are made for ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households. Struggling families often forgo buying fresh produce because of the high cost. Studies show that highly processed foods that pack the most calories and least nutrition per gram are far less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables.
United Way of Western Connecticut led the formation of food collaboratives in Danbury and Stamford, which bring together local pantries, soup kitchens, nonprofit agencies and organizations to address the food security of vulnerable residents in our communities. By working together and moving from “me to we,” the collaboratives were able to secure large grants to solve one piece of the food security puzzle: refrigeration for perishable food donations.
The Stamford and Danbury Food Collaboratives has provided 21 commercial refrigeration units to local pantries and organizations to allow more agencies and organizations to make fresh produce, dairy products and meat available to clients. Clients went from receiving 10-12 pounds of canned and shelf-stable food each month to receiving an additional 40-50 pounds, including fresh produce, meat and dairy.
Increasing access to fresh produce and other nutrient-rich foods is a powerful piece in United Way’s fight against community hunger and food insecurity. With you, we can do so much more.