NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Price Rite Marketplace and Feed the Children are partnering with Goya Foods and the Boys and Girls Club of New Britain to help families facing food insecurity.

“It means a lot with the recession that’s going on and the inflation going on right now,” said New Britain resident Michelle Delgado. “Things are really rough.”

Price Rite Marketplace and Feed the Children created the Feeding Minds & Bodies campaign to tackle childhood hunger and promote healthy childhood development by providing food, personal care items, books, and school supplies.

“We think it’s really important to wipe out hunger in the communities where our stores operate,” said Jon Wiltrout, Price Rite’s human resources director.

Four hundred local families have been selected to receive a 25-pound box of food, a 15-pound box of family essentials including shampoo, condition, lotion, and personal care items, a backpack full of school supplies, and other shelf-stable items.

“With the pandemic happening, it’s been rough for a lot of families to provide for their kids,” said New Britain resident Jasmine Verdejo. “So, I feel like this is a great function to have.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 38 million people, including 12 million children, are food insecure. In Connecticut, 490,000 people, including 131,000 children, need food, according to Feeding America.

For volunteers and organizers, the goal is to feed the body and the mind.

“So, in partnership donating school supplies, donating some backpacks, to really help families get the leg up on the school that’s coming. It’s central to our mission,” Wiltrout said.

“That’s going to help out so much,” Verdejo said. “They’re so happy. They’re like, ‘I can’t wait to get my book bag.’”

Since Feed the Children and Price Rite Marketplace began working together in 2015, more than 40,000 families have received groceries.