Conn. (WTNH) — A big donation from a major bank is helping bring food into communities across Connecticut.
The future of food banks is mobile. Connecticut Foodbank is using its mobile food pantry trucks more and more, circulating through more than 100 different sites all over the state. Even the way they run the mobile sites is changing.
“The old way of doing things was people show up to a mobile site, stand in line and somebody hands them some food,” said CT Foodshare President & CEO Jason Jakubowski. “That’s not good enough anymore.”
The new way is to let clients choose for themselves what they need from all the food offered. It makes everyone happier at the pantry Hector Velazquez runs at Hamden’s Church Street School.
“To have these other mobile trucks and other mobile trucks in other locations is going to be a benfit and a blessing to many families,” Velazquez said.
Another good thing about the mobile pantries is that many of the people who need food, don’t have cars, so the mobile pantries bring the food right to their neighborhoods. While they are there, they can help people sign up for other benefits.
“To sign people up for healthcare, if they need it,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-Connecticut). “For any kind of state or federal benefits that will help them.”
The Lieutenant Governor and Foodshare celebrating a big boost to the mobile program: A major donation from Keybank
“It is my great pleasure to announce Keybank’s support to the Connecticut Foodshare through a grant through the Keybank foundation in the amount of $500,000 payable over three years,” said Matthew Hummel, KeyBank’s Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Market President.
Keybank volunteers also helped sort some of the food that will head out on the mobile trucks. Foodshare’s mobile sites provided four million meals last year. This year, they hope to make that four and a half million.