Join the Movement

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Plan B Burger Bar dunks managers to raise money for Foodshare!

Plan B Burger Bar recently held their annual company BBQ, featuring a “Dunk the Manager” charity fundraiser. The manager in the dunk tank who raised the most funds got to pick the receiving charity, and Foodshare was chosen!

Rachel Hurvitz, Design and Marketing Manager (right), and Lena DiGenti, Chief Strategy Officer (center), came out to Foodshare to present the check for $2,769 to Foodshare Director of Development Wendy Kohn (left).

Lena said being in the dunk tank was a bruising experience (literally, not figuratively!) but that it was very worthwhile to support one of her favorite charities.

Thank you to everyone at Plan B Burger Bar!

Would your company or organization like to host or be involved with a fundraiser for Foodshare?  Go here for more information or contact Jordan.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Liberty Mutual donaton follows employee volunteers

Mark Pilcher, Commercial Underwriting Manager,and Cindy Dodd, Senior Underwriter of Liberty Mutual (pictured with Foodshare Development Director Wendy Kohn, center) came out to Foodshare this past week to present a gift of $1,000 to Foodshare for hosting more than 50 volunteers during their "Serve with Liberty" week in early May this year.

Volunteers worked at community gardens, at the Bloomfield distribution center sorting food donations, and at the Regional Market packing produce for distribution on Mobile Foodshare trucks. Lots and lots of carrots were packed into family-friendly packages, and a good time was had by all!

Thank you, Liberty Mutual!

If you would like to organize a group from your company to volunteer, please go here for more information or contact Keith at Foodshare.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pepperidge Farm donates and employees volunteer!

Doreen Ciaccio and a group of volunteers from Pepperidge Farm in Bloomfield came out to Foodshare today to volunteer sorting food donations, a regular monthly routine for many employees of Pepperidge Farm.

But today they brought an additional welcome surprise: a $2,000 gift from a grant that Doreen had applied for and received from the Campbell's "Angel Points" program, recognizing the many hours of volunteer service that Pepperidge Farm employees provide to help make sure hungry neighbors have food.

Pepperidge Farm employees Carlos, Todd, Melissa, Doreen, and Bob
with Gloria (4th from left) presenting the checks before they started volunteering

A big thank you to Doreen and to everyone at Pepperidge Farm!  They do it all - donate bread from the company, engage employees as volunteers, and donate funds to support Foodshare's work!

If your company would like to donate food, go here for more information.  If you would like to organize a group of employees to volunteer, go here, or to raise to donate funds, go here.

Meet Jennifer, Database Analyst

Jennifer Johnson started at Foodshare three years ago as our Receptionist and has been promoted twice during that time, first to Adminstrative Assistant and then to Database Analyst.  Here's a little more about Jennifer:

Name: Jennifer Johnson

Role at Foodshare: As Database Analyst I maintain our donor and volunteer databases.

How long at Foodshare? 3 years

Hobbies: Reading

Why I do what I do: I believe in our mission and strongly believe that nobody should go without food.

Most recent accomplishment: My promotion to the Database Analyst.

Last read: Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage

What was the hardest thing you’ve had to learn at Foodshare? The hardest thing that I have learned since working at Foodshare was realizing how many people actually go without food just in our state.

What has stayed the same in your time at Foodshare? One thing that has stayed the same here at Foodshare is our mission to end hunger.

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Mom

What are you most proud of? My kids, they are the best!

If you found out you only had a few months to live, what would you do with the time? I would spend all my time with my family.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fresh Squash - A Summer Treat

I often hear people talk about how food pantries cannot distribute fresh fruits and vegetables.  And/or that poor people don't know how to use fresh fruits and vegetables.  Yet, last year, nearly half of the food that Foodshare distributed was fresh produce! 

Yesterday, I received this e-mail from St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown which further demonstrates just how untrue these assumptions are!

"A truckload of squash weighing in at 738 pounds was donated to Amazing Grace Food Pantry recently! St. Vincent de Paul Middletown is grateful to local gardeners at Fair Weather Acres, a 600 acre farm and stand in Rocky Hill who delivered an all-time high record of squash, zucchini and other fresh produce to people in need in our community. 

"Kathleen Kelly, Coordinator at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, a program of St. Vincent de Paul Middletown said this is by far the largest donation of produce in the eleven year history of Amazing Grace. 'There are all kinds of squash---yellow, zucchini, some interesting ones I've never seen! The people we serve love it.'

"Families who use the food pantry for three days' worth of groceries each month to supplement their already stretched food bill often have to forego pricy, fresh produce at conventional food markets.

"With a pile of produce like this, you might think veggie lovers at the food pantry will be all set for the rest of the summer, but in reality it will all be gone in just a few weeks. 'We can give out a few more pieces instead of just one per family, but that's about it,' Kathleen said.

"Amazing Grace is now serving over 1,020 families each month, a 10 percent increase over last year. That is why the need for food donations, especially for fresh produce is on-going. If you have  bounty from your garden, please bring it to Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, Middletown, CT, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10-5 p.m., or Saturdays, 9-1."

Are you a farmer or gardener who has excess produce you could donate?  Go here to learn more about how to donate to Foodshare or here to find a local food pantry or community kitchen in your town.

Summer food service program serving our neediest neighborhoods

Accoridng to End Hunger CT!, this year, 39 towns in Connecticut are eligible to have an "open" Summer Food Service Program site for children to get a meal.  An open site means that the neighborhood around the site has 50% or more low-income families and so the summer food site can serve all children under 18 without doing means testing.

The good news - all 39 towns have an open site!  Even Greenwich has one open site for children to get a meal this summer.

To find out if there is a summer food site near you, go to or text CTmeals to 877877.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Great nutrition resource

UConn has a website that is filled with great recipes, nutrition information and shopping tips.

While geared to families using the SNAP program, the information can be valuable to all of us who are trying to eat healthy on a budget!