Struggling families often forgo purchasing fresh produce because of its high cost. United Way of Western Connecticut led the formation of the Danbury Food Collaborative (DFC) to bring together food pantries, soup kitchens, and nonprofits to collectively address food insecurity.
Through the DFC, we secured funding to purchase refrigeration units which allow area food programs to accept perishable and “rescue” food from grocery stores. As a result, clients receive more fresh food, including nutritious fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and dairy products. This change has proven to be life-changing to individuals and families in need.
“[The DFC] is essential…because there are a lot of people out there going through hard times, and it’s good to know that there is a place where you can go to get fresh food,” said food pantry client Aaron, who lost his job about a year ago. “Because of you, I never missed having fresh vegetables in my fridge and fresh food to feed my family.” We were so encouraged by the success of the DFC that we helped create a Stamford Food Collaborative to serve Connecticut’s third largest city, where approximately 29% of households are ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).
We often hear ALICE families say, “WE NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAPPEN TO US.”
The truth is, no one plans to encounter a life-changing medical diagnosis, injury, job change, or family crisis.
Aaron didn’t expect to rely on a food pantry to feed his family. But thanks to our supporters and our commitment to work with like-minded organizations around important community issues, he never had to send his children to school hungry.
United Way’s Food Collaboratives in Danbury and Stamford demonstrate how our collaborative model makes a real difference to families who never expected to find themselves in economic uncertainty.