Foodshare President's Blog

Foodshare President's Blog

Monday, November 24, 2014

Joy and tears

I knew that my last Turkey and Thirty campaign at Foodshare would bring moments of both joy and sadness.  Over the weekend, though, both appeared in unexpected places.

Friday evening, I joined my friends at Congregation Beth Israel for a Social Justice Shabbat dinner and service.  I have been there so often that, as I told them on Friday, I consider it "my synagogue."  It was truly a joy to share dinner with my friends at Beth Israel.  During the service, they presented me with several gifts, including a plaque that said:

"We honor you for your unwavering pursuit of God's work in this world thorugh your creative, unrelenting 30 years of leadership to feed the hungry children and adults throughout our community.  While we shall miss the power of your presence, yet imbued with your spirit and friendship, and instructed by our Torah, we shall always continue to 'Walk Against Hunger' and do the work of justice."

Only my North Country stoicism kept the tears from flowing at that moment.


And on Sunday morning, as I was working, along for Foodshare truck driver Danny, at the Turkey and Thirty drive at my own congregation, Asylum Hill Congregational Church, apparently they were talking about me during the announcements, but noted that I was still in the parking lot with the truck!  It is always a joy to work with the young people at the church on this food drive and witness the generosity of the congregation as they fill one of the Foodshare trucks.  I did slip into the service a bit late and heard Rev. Matthew Laney's sermon about the power of one.  The combination of the kind tribute he paid to my work at Foodshare and the singing of my favorite him, "Here I Am," did move me to tears.  So, the stoic in me slipped out of the service before it was quite over!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NBC 30 Turkey and Thirty event

Hung out this morning at the Sears parking lot in West Hartford with the NBC 30 crew.  And over 300 turkeys were donated!  Yay!

Gerry Brooks handling two turkeys at once!

Some young helpers needed a hand themselves to load the turkeys!


Foodshare's Dom Piccini, NBC meteorologist Bob Maxon (continuing the tradition of the weatherman wearing a turkey hat), Foodshare Events Coordinator Jordan Nyberg, me, NBC 30 news anchor Gerry Brooks, and Foodshare driver Alan Prior

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why a star football player traded NFL career for a tractor

from the CBS Evening News
November 14, 2014


At one point number 60, Jason Brown, was one of the best centers in the NFL.

At one point he had a five-year, $37 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.

And at one point he decided it was all meaningless - and just walked away from football.

"My agent told me, 'You're making the biggest mistake of your life,'" said Brown. "And I looked right back at him and I said, 'No I'm not. No I'm not.'"

So what could possibly trump the NFL?

Jason Brown quit football to be a plain, old farmer -- even though he'd never farmed a day a in his life.[...]

See, his plan for this farm, which he calls "First Fruits Farm," is to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. Today it's all five acres--100,000 pounds--of sweet potatoes.

"It's unusual for a grower to grow a crop just to give away," said Rebecca Page, who organizes food collection for the needy. "And that's what Jason has done. And he's planning to do more next year."

United Way ALICE Report Documents the Challenges Facing 35% of Connecticut Families


In Connecticut, 1 in 4 households have earnings above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Despite working hard, these households struggle to make ends meet. United Way calls this newly identified demographic ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The Connecticut ALICE Report released this week documents the challenges facing ALICE families throughout our state, shining a light on this hidden population.

Combined, ALICE and Poverty households comprise 35% of all households in the state, revealing that more than 1 in 3 Connecticut households is experiencing financial hardship.

Connecticut United Ways joined with United Ways in five other states to commission statewide ALICE Reports from United Way of Northern New Jersey and Rutgers University. The Connecticut ALICE Report provides analysis of how many households are struggling in every town, including the obstacles ALICE households face on the road to financial independence.

 

Download the CT ALICE Report
Attend an Upcoming ALICE Event
The Connecticut ALICE Report is available for download online at http://alice.ctunitedway.org/
For additional information and to find out about ALICE in your town, click here.
There are ALICE events happening throughout Connecticut in the coming days and weeks.
 
Upcoming Events:
More events will be added soon. Check http://alice.ctunitedway.org/events for details
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From Paycheck to Pantry: Hunger in Working America



More than half (54%) of all households seeking charitable food assistance from the Feeding America network include at least one member who had employment in the past year, according to a recent study released by Feeding America® andOxfam America® ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday season. All told, approximately 25 million people live in these households. The study details the challenges that many working Americans face in providing enough food for their households. Feeding America is the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization and Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization.

Recent economic growth has resulted in improved circumstances for some individuals and their families, but its benefits have excluded many others, including the more than 17 million1 American households facing food insecurity. Many of these households have working members whose wages are too low to support themselves and their families.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mobile Produce Market launches tomorrow

The Mobile Market, which will make fresh produce available to people thoughout Hartford, launches tomorrow!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two weeks until Thanksgiving - you know what that means!



Foodshare Announces 2014 Turkey and Thirty Campaign Goals

 

Hartford – President and CEO Gloria McAdam announced Foodshare’s annual Turkey and Thirty Campaign goals today.

The food bank has received 19,896 unduplicated requests for turkeys from families served by area pantries, community kitchens, and shelters. Each of these turkeys represents a traditional Thanksgiving meal for one local family.

In addition to providing turkeys, Foodshare’s Turkey and Thirty Campaign must also raise $900,000 to continue feeding people year-round. “What we want people to understand is that so many of our neighbors continue to struggle the other 364 days of the year,” says McAdam. “While we feel strongly that every American should have a turkey at Thanksgiving, we also want to be sure they are not forgotten once Thanksgiving has passed.”

The biggest challenges for Foodshare are timing and the fact that the numbers keep growing year after year. “Last year Foodshare distributed 19,519 turkeys and now has less than two weeks to finish collecting AND distribute this year’s 19,896 turkeys.  We do have early leadership gifts, including 1,000 turkeys from Stop & Shop (part of the 20th Annual H.O.G. Turkey Run event), 380 turkeys from C&S Wholesalers, 200 turkeys from Hoffman Auto, 140 turkeys and $30’s from Henkel Corporation and 200 turkeys from CohnReznick.  This still leaves 18,976 turkeys to go in just two weeks time!” says McAdam. “These turkeys go out the door just as fast as they come in, and we count on everyone in the community to help make that happen.”

Those wishing to help are asked to visit www.aturkeyandthirty.org to learn more.

Keep up with all of Foodshare’s latest news and updates by becoming a follower at www.twitter.com/Foodshare.