Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Three Ways To Reduce Childhood Food Insecurity

New research, using simulation modeling, identifies three policies that ensure young children have reliable access to food.

●    Increasing SNAP benefits by basing benefit calculations on the Low Cost Food Plan (vs. the Thrifty Food Plan), gives participant families with children 8% more  food purchasing power, and  helps 5.31% of food-insecure people in those families to become food secure.

●    Increasing WIC age-eligibility from age 5 to 6, increases the food purchasing power of 1.47% of newly eligible 5-year-olds’ families, helping them to become food secure.

●    Maintaining the current Community Eligibility Program (CEP) criteria (>40% poverty rate) in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, assures that the food purchasing power of 3.17% and 3.77% of families with children who participate in free and reduced-price meals, respectively, shift into higher income-to-poverty-ratio categories. Consequently, 3.23% of food-insecure School Meals participants’ families became fully food secure.

Source: Children’s Health Policy, 11/16/17, Reducing Food Insecurity

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

AFSCME Local 318 Members Step Up To Support Foodshare

Al Marino, center, Foodshare's Corporate and Community Giving Manager, accepts a $500 donation from AFSCME Local 318 Executive Board members Bob Augusta, Tony Ruggerio, Rose Phillips, Pat Davis, Valencia Johnson and Jennifer Pelletier.
 Responding to the continued problem of food insecurity throughout Connecticut, members of AFSCME Local 318, representing more than 600 state administrative and clerical workers in central Connecticut, have donated $500 to Foodshare.
          “As state employees and union members, we are blessed to have decent, family-supporting jobs,” said Local 318 President Robert Augusta, who works for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DHMHAS). “We want to give back to the community in a meaningful way. Donating to Foodshare is a way to help the countless working people in our state who don’t always know where there next meal is coming from.”     

Augusta and fellow Local 318 Executive Board Members, Patricia Davis, Jennifer Pelletier, Rose Phillips, Anthony Ruggiero and Valencia Johnson presented the donation to Al Marino, Foodshare’s Corporate and Community Giving Manager.
          “We applaud the public service workers from AFSCME Local 318 for their generous contribution to our cause,” Marino said. “There are currently 127,000 people living in Hartford and Tolland counties who are food insecure. Every dollar donated provides two-and-half meals to individuals and families in need.”


Monday, December 4, 2017

SNAP Helps Adult College Students

Cost is the main barrier facing many adults who pursue postsecondary credentials. Unmet need--the gap between expenses and what adult students can pay--averages roughly $8,000 for the lowest-income students. Providing such students access to public benefits — like subsidized child care, SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF— can reduce unmet need, decrease debt levels, increase financial stability and help students care for their families.

In an effort to make it easier for states to align these policies, six federal departments released an interagency letter, “Aligning Federal Supports and Program Delivery for College Completion,” that highlighted how those who are receiving SNAP or other benefits can benefit from federal financial aid for college. SNAP, for example, has complex rules for students attending postsecondary education and training more than part-time, but states can define whether low-income students enrolled in college or certain occupational programs more than part-time qualify. In addition, some low-income students receiving federal or state work-study funds are eligible for SNAP.

Source: Center for Law & Social Policy, 11/22/17, SNAP Helps College Students

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hunger Action Team Celebrates 3 year Anniversary

“A little over three years ago, Stephanie Haines, who is the Minister of Mission and Faith Formation at Gilead Congregational Church, reached out to Beatrice Maslowski, a community network builder at Foodshare.

The result was the formation of a Hunger Action Team (HAT) serving the towns of Hebron, Andover, Marlborough, and Columbia, a group that celebrated a 3-year anniversary - and a list of impressive accomplishments - recently.”

Source: Hartford Courant, 12/1/17, Local Hunger Action Team Marks Anniversary, Success

Monday, November 13, 2017

Turkey Prices Down This Year

Thanksgiving season often marks the low point for the retail markup for whole turkeys. This year, low wholesale prices are likely a good sign for price-conscious consumers.

The average price for a whole frozen hen in August was just under 97 cents per pound, 3% below January and 19% below August 2016. As of the fourth week of September, prices had fallen farther to 96 cents. The last time wholesale prices were below $1 per pound as late as September was in 2010.

Source: USDA, 11/6/17, Turkey Prices

With turkey prices down this year, please consider purchasing a turkey (or several) and donating them to Foodshare!

To find a local drive near year visit!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Hawk Is Rescued

Foodshare had an interesting visitor on Monday morning. A hawk flew into the truck garage portion of our warehouse and couldn’t figure out how to get out.

Our helpful friends at the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton came out to help and identified her as a young, female Cooper’s hawk but had no luck coaxing her out -- so the hawk stayed overnight until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, with help from Nick Watson, a wildlife relocation expert, along with some Foodshare staff, we were finally able to direct her back outside where she belongs.

A happy ending!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Screening for Food Insecurity

What is the best way to screen for food insecurity? The 18-item U.S. Food Security Scale (USFSS) is the gold standard, according to a recent editorial in the American Journal of Public Health. The tool was developed after five years of extensive testing, consultation, and expert review.  Its length, however, makes its use in most clinical settings impractical.

The first two questions in the USFSS, commonly known as the Hunger Vital Sign, ask how often within the past 12 months “we worried whether our food would run out before we got money to buy more,” and “the food we bought just didn’t last and we didn’t have money to get more.” Recent research has shown the Hunger Vital Sign to be both a sensitive and specific tool, and thus reliable is ascertaining whether a patient is food insecure, but only if the screener asks both questions and gives the patient 3 response options: “often true, sometimes true, or never true.”

Source: Children’s Health Watch, 11/2/17, Food Insecurity Screening