WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Foodshare, an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry, announced that it has authorized emergency funds of $500,000 for food purchases through the end of 2022.

“This not an action we take lightly,” said President and CEO, Jason Jakubowski. “We don’t dip into our reserves to purchase food unless we absolutely have to; and based on the trends we’ve seen over the past few weeks, […] we have to.”

Connecticut Foodshare said that this grant will help provide staple food options such as pasta, rice, peanut butter, and tuna to the organization’s network of 650 partner programs state-wide.

These partners help Connecticut Foodshare distribute food to those hungry and in need in all corners of the state.

The emergency $500,000 is in addition to the $12 million that Connecticut Foodshare has already allocated for food purchases this year, officials noted.

But Jakubowski also reminded residents that this decision to use reserve funds is not indicative of an unsuccessful Thanksgiving season at the food bank. In fact, it was the opposite.

“We had an incredibly successful Thanksgiving,” he explained. “We met all of our goals – but as I’ve said over and over again these past few weeks: Thanksgiving is just one meal per year. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have to do whatever we can to keep our pantries’ shelves full heading into the December holidays and the winter months.”

Right now, food banks across the U.S. are facing food shortages due to rising costs, supply chain issues, and an increased need from the community. Despite this, Connecticut Foodshare guaranteed residents that it is working with the Feeding American network to address these challenges.

“We continue to communicate and work with other food banks across the country, as well as with our partner programs here in Connecticut, as we strive to understand and navigate our new post-pandemic environment,” Jakubowski said. “Emergency food purchases are not something we can sustain in the long run, but at this particular juncture it is without question the right thing to do.”

To learn more about Connecticut Foodshare, donate to its cause, or learn more about its mission, click here.