WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The season of giving is now underway. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Connecticut Foodshare is making a major push to get turkeys and all the trimmings on the tables of families in need.
Turkey Tuesday has a new look this year. Instead of an office building lobby in downtown Hartford, Connecticut Foodshare is now collecting turkeys at its Wallingford warehouse.
“By the time we get to Thanksgiving, our goal is to have collected and distributed more than 50,000 Thanksgiving meals,” said Jason Jakubowski, the president and CEO of CT Foodshare.
On Tuesday, a delivery of several thousand turkeys was donated by the Hometown Foundation. In a back room sorting donations are a couple of dozen volunteers from Bank of America. It has sponsored Turkey Tuesday for 23 years. Runaway inflation is making this year one of the toughest.
“The need is greater,” said Joe Gianni, the president of Bank of America Greater Hartford. “The last couple of years we had that emergency food distribution, which helped people in need. the numbers haven’t come down to pre-COVID levels.”
Inflation affects food banks in two different ways. Folks can afford less at the supermarket, so more people depend on food banks. Food banks also have to go out and buy food themselves, and that food is now more expensive.
Foodshare just spent an emergency half million dollars to make sure it has staple foods through the holidays. Donations are helping, but the average client is struggling to pay for rent, heat, and medical care.
“Oftentimes people will decide to forgo their food,” Jakubowski said. “That’s unfortunate, especially here in the richest state in the country.”
This is why, for the next week, they are asking people to donate a turkey and $40.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, the News 8 team will be collecting turkeys and non-perishable food items at Connecticut Foodshare at 2 Research Parkway in Wallingford. Drive up and drop off your donation from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Last year, News 8 was able to collect more than 600 turkeys and nearly 5,000 pounds of food and raised more than $1,500 for families in Connecticut.
This year, the goal is to raise $2,000 and collect more food than last year.
If you can’t make it to the event on Nov. 19, you can make a monetary donation here.