Foodshare volunteers helping pickup, delivery food during coronavirus outbreak


CONNECTICUT, Conn. (WTNH) — Unsung heroes in this COVID-19 crisis are the Foodshare volunteers who are rescuing food for Connecticut families.

They are using the app “MealConnect,” which is used through Feeding America. It’s like an Uber Eats for stranded food which goes to those in need.

“It tells you where your drop off is,” said Anne Carroll, Foodshare volunteer.

On Wednesday, she went to a food bank in Windsor.

Feeding America is a nationwide hunger-relief charity that helps more than 40 million Americans every year. Here in Connecticut, 32 Foodshare volunteers, like Carroll, have signed up through the app in the last week.

“It’s a great feeling,” Carroll said. “I mean, it’s doing what needs to be done.”

Caroll gets a text through the app and accepts or declines the assignment.

She said the trip — picking up and dropping off the food — usually takes an hour and a half.

At a Stop & Shop in Bloomfield, volunteers weighed boxes, clocked in 37 pounds of produce, checked the temperature of the meat or produce for safety and logged non-perishables.

Caroll’s car was loaded and she was off to Windsor Food and Fuel.

“With coronavirus, we are not allowed to go into the food banks, Carroll said. “They [food pantry directors] leave moving carts for us.”

In one year, Foodshare officials said 240 pantries in Hartford and Tolland counties will benefit from 150 million pounds of food.

“We’ve had restaurants, stores and others logging in to say they have extra food for us to rescue,” Foodshare CEO Jason Jacubowski said.

The federal relief/stimulus package passed by Congress includes $450 million for emergency food assistance.

Foodshare said that should help stock their shelves. They expect a shipment from the United States Department of Agriculture in two weeks.

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