Hartford community, volunteers help Meals on Wheels serve food to home-bound seniors amid pandemic

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Even though portions of Connecticut’s economy reopened last week, food insecurity, meaning people struggling to have enough to eat, continues to be a growing problem.

The pandemic has changed the way Meals on Wheels is serving those still at home.

“This was happening before the pandemic even started and now that we are in this situation the need has gone up,” said Jason Black, Spokesperson, Community Renewal Team (CRT).

Community Renewal Team (or CRT) prepares more than a thousand meals a day on Windsor Avenue in Hartford. And oversees the Meals on Wheels program for medically home-bound seniors in Hartford, Middlesex and parts of Tolland county.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy toured their sites Tuesday to bring attention to the growing issue of food insecurity amid the pandemic.

“I’ve got to convince my colleagues in Washington to support more money for nutrition programs. Some of that comes through plusing up Snap benefits and some of it is going to come through supporting organizations like CRT,” said Murphy.

CRT receives funding from federal government. But that doesn’t cover these trucks or maintenance. That’s where volunteers and the community come in.

And during the pandemic, there’s a new partnership with Travelers Insurance.

With so many people working from home at the company’s largest office in downtown Hartford, its cafeteria staff are now feeding the shut-in.

“Travelers through their meal service is helping to prepare hot lunches every single workday that then go out to four different CRT programs. That’s 130 meals that they’re donating every single day,” said Black.

After first stopping at CRT’s main site in Hartford, the Senator headed to Travelers to pick up even more food before bringing it to people in East Hartford.

Travelers plans to keep this up through the end of June.

Meanwhile, volunteers are delivering meals while maintaining social distance. And Murphy says he plans to push for even more resources.

“We’ve got to have a comprehensive effort to make sure people don’t go hungry right now,” said Murphy.

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