Monday, August 22, 2016

U.S. SNAP Numbers Drop Dramatically

Nationally, SNAP participation averaged 43,478,196 people in May 2016, a decrease of over 2 million or 4.6% since May 2015. This is the lowest SNAP national participation level since October 2010. In Connecticut, about 22,000 fewer people received SNAP in May 2016 compared to May 2015, a 2.8% drop. Over the past five years, though, SNAP participation in Connecticut has grown by 12%, among the highest growth rates in the nation.

Source: Food Research & Action Council, 8/11/16, SNAP Participation

A Summer of Madness Comes to an End

Here in Connecticut the sound of bouncing basketballs and squeaking sneakers can be heard any time of year, as kids of all ages dream of making the NBA someday. So it may come as no surprise that Foodshare’s Summer Meals Madness program—offering a free meal and a chance to play some b-ball—was very well received.

As a pilot initiative, our goal was simply to inform and engage, encouraging greater participation in the USDA’s free summer food service program for kids. Thanks to funding and promotional support from Fox61, iHeart Media, and Stop & Shop we hosted events all over the region—one even featured a surprise visit from former NBA star, and current Head Coach for Men’s Basketball at CCSU, Donyell Marshall!

Congrats to all of our winners:

Little Tikes
(Grades K-3)

1st Place: Josiah
2nd Place: Kaydence
(Grades 4-8)

1st Place: Jeremiah
2nd Place: Joseph
3rd Place: Ashanti
Three Point
(Grades 9-12)

1st Place: AJ
2nd Place: Kendal
3rd Place: Iverson

And to our 2016 Battle of the Stations Champion:

The championship wrap-up, held in Newington on August 13, brought together community participants, local and state legislators, and culminated in a battle of the stations—featuring teams from both iHeart Media and Fox61. With such great momentum in our first year, you can bet we’ll be back again next summer with an even bigger and better line-up of fun, food and madness!

Check out all of our photos >

Cigna garden raises money and produce!

Judy Hartling (CIGNA Civic Affairs Senior Specialist), James Arena-DeRosa (Foodshare President & CEO), and Beth Henry (VP Global Marketing Operations at CIGNA and Foodshare Board Member).

The Cigna garden was first planted four years ago to raise healthy food for our hungry neighbors who may not otherwise have access. Since that time, Cigna employees have donated over 1,000 pounds of company-grown vegetables and herbs.

Employees can also sponsor a row of the garden for $100. This year’s sponsorship program raised more than $2,800 for Foodshare, supporting our ongoing work to solve hunger in Greater Hartford!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tasty Waste @ UCONN

Join our President and CEO, James Arena-DeRosa, at UCONN on September 13 for a discussion on the links between food waste and food insecurity. Learn how community partners are bringing about change to connect more people with healthy food. Then return on September 21 for a 'Tasty Waste Lunch' made exclusively from surplus food that would have gone to waste!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dining for a Cause on Aug. 31

Each year, the Ninety Nine Restaurant in Glastonbury hosts "Dining for a Cause," on behalf of the Hartford Harley Owners' Group, to benefit Foodshare. All are welcome to come down, enjoy a great meal, and support Foodshare! Please join us on:

August 31st from 5-10:00 p.m. 
3025 Main St Glastonbury, CT

Print the coupon below, and bring it with you (no e-coupons will be accepted).  Many thanks to the Hartford H.O.G. for their year-round efforts to fight hunger!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Newington to host Championship event!

Connecticut is ranked among the best in the nation for summer meals participation. Unfortunately, with only 27% of those eligible being served, 3 out of 4 kids still do not get the quality meals they need when school is out. Our goal through the Summer Meals Madness program has been to connect more families with free summer meals in their very own neighborhood through a love of basketball. Thanks to our faithful partners—Fox61, iHeart Media, and Stop & Shop—we did just that, growing attendance at nearly all of the sites where events were held. 

Our championship event—held this Saturday, August 13 at Newington High School (605 Willard Ave.)—will be a celebration of that success and all those who made it possible! Local winners from each age group will compete for prizes, and iHeart will take on Fox61 in a battle of the stations for ultimate bragging rights.

Guest speakers will include: 

<< State Representative Gary Byron is a lifelong Newington Resident and a member of Foodshare's Newington Hunger Action Team.  

T.J. Clarke, Special Initiatives Coordinator for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, was recognized as a 2016 "Forty Under Forty" by the Hartford Business Journal. >>

New findings on food insecurity and children

Much recent research links food insecurity with negative outcomes for children’s health, education, and other areas. Other research shows that programs like SNAP can have large and long-lasting benefits, especially when the benefits are received by mothers during pregnancy and by children at a young age.

A recent study that examines the impact of the rollout of the original Food Stamp Program in the late 1960s shows that receiving Food Stamps during pregnancy reduced the incidence of low birth weight by between five and 12%. The same researchers also found that among adults who grew up in disadvantaged households, access to Food Stamps in utero and early childhood led to: a 16 percentage-point decline in the likelihood of being obese as an adult and significant reductions in metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes); an 18 percentage-point increase in the likelihood of completing high school; and significant improvements in overall health and economic self-sufficiency among women.

Source: Food Research & Action Council, 8/3/16, Food Insecurity Research