Foodshare President's Blog

Foodshare President's Blog

Friday, October 31, 2014

Foodshare staff volunteer

A number of team members at Foodshare spent a portion of their afternoon or evening volunteering at Pauline's Stock Pot Soup Kitchen in the Warehouse Point section of East Windsor.

One group prepared a meal of pasta, salad, and cooked carrots while another group served the food, including dessert, to about 90 people and cleaned up afterwards.

It was good for all of us to get out and do this so we could see the end result of the work we do every day - people getting a hearty and healthy meal!

Kenz served and cleaned up in her full Halloween costume!
Eric was a serious dishwasher!


The serving and clean up crew paused for a break before heading home.

New poll shows majority of Americans think goverment should do more to tackle hunger

Yesterday, The Hill ran an op-ed by Jim Weill from the Food Research and Action Center and Sara Lilygren, executive vice president of Corporate Affairs at Tyson Foods, titled “Hunger: An issue we can agree on,” which underscores how the majority of Americans polled are looking to government to be part of the solution.

They said, in part:

"Hunger continues to be far too widespread in our nation. Americans recognize that families are running out of food at the end of the month and that children are eating less nutritious and cheaper food so their parents can scrape together money to pay the rent. They realize that seniors are often choosing whether to pay for prescriptions or food. They know that many children go hungry in the summer when school is out. Indeed, 45 percent of Americans say that hunger in the U.S. is a 'serious problem.'

"These are sobering thoughts, but people believe there is a solution and they are looking for the government, in addition to individuals and local communities, to lead. Overwhelmingly, people believe that government should tackle this problem. More than 80 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Independents believe the federal and local government has responsibility, and 50 percent of Republicans believe that the federal government has responsibility."

Read the full article here and see the full poll results here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Save the date!

Yes, my last day at Foodshare is December 31, but I'll come back for a party!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mobile Produce Market Comes to Hartford

Remember our "Move that Bus" story?

We're pleased to hear that the new Hartford Mobile Market will launch in November, providing access to fresh produce to people throughout Hartford all year round.

I'm excited about this, in part because, my daughter who lives in Kansas City and works at a hospital there, posts pictures every week of the produce she secures from the mobile market sponsored by the hospital.  I can see what a difference it makes for her family and for other KC area residents!  It will be great to have this program in Hartford!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Feed the world or end poverty?

An interesting article on entitled, "Instead of trying to feed the world, we should be ending poverty."

When we talk about hunger, whether it's here in the US or around the world, we do tend to talk about how to increase the food supply -- sometimes it's about running a food drive or sometimes it's about new technologies that will allow farmers to grow more food.

But most experts agree:  there is enough food.  The problem is that people cannot afford to buy the food and don't have the resources to grow their own food.

Why aren't we talking about this?  Maybe because it's too hard, poverty seems to be too intractable a problem.  And solutions to poverty won't happen with sweeping global or regional change, they will happen one family at a time.

Bridges Out of Poverty is a proven program that can do that one family at a time.  We're thrilled to have piloted this program in Hartford and are working hard to secure the funds and resources to continue it.   Learn more about Foodshare's work with this program here.
And read more about possible policy solutions to hunger here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hartford Harley Owners Group donates to Foodshare

My season of "last" events continues...

Yesterday was the Hartford Harley Owners Group's 20th annual "Turkey Run" - the day, when my children were young, was called "the day the motorcycles come to Foodshare."  It was my last time to greet the riders as they arrived at Foodshare with their donations of turkeys and cash.

A few of the riders have been involved in this event since the beginning and all of them and their generous spirits are among those I will miss as I move away from greater Hartford in December.

Thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this event a success over the last 20 years!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumn is a time for transitions

Fall is indeed a time of transition, and today’s final harvest in our first ever community garden proved the point. Director of Development Wendy Kohn, Individual Giving Manager Merry Renduchintala, Events Coordinator Jordan Nyberg, and Grants and Program Impact Manager Miranda Muro spent today’s lunch break gently easing plants out of their soil before the mid-October frost. The final harvest included tomatoes, hot peppers and watermelon. They left the flourishing basil plants out there for a little while longer, and the bees were still enjoying the marigolds.

The community garden not only gave our staff a chance to unwind, but it also provided hands-on experience with exactly the types of foods we distribute to communities in need every day - fully 50% of the food we hand out is fresh produce!

Everyone at Foodshare will miss the garden, but look forward to continue using it for years to come!

And, of course, this fall is a time of transitions for me.  Not only am I putting my home garden to bed, I'm making plans for my move to the North Country and my new job at GardenShare in Canton, NY.

The transition process has begun at Foodshare with the Board of Directors having named a Transition Committee made up of Board members, staff members, and community representatives.  The committee will be doing a three part transition process.  Starting shortly, they will lead an organizational assessment to consider Foodshare's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  The result of this assessment will be a position profile - not a job description which already exists, but a profile of the kind of person Foodshare needs for its next leader.  When that is done, around February, the second phase of an executive search will begin.  And the third phase, the on-boarding of a new CEO will hopefully start by next summer.

What happens in the meantime?  Christine O'Rourke, Foodshare's Chief Operating Officer, and a 27-year veteran at the organization will serve as Interim CEO.

Go here or here to follow updates on the transition process.