EAST HARTFORD, CT — Hundreds of people lined up in their vehicles at Rentschler Field to obtain food from Foodshare.
The regional food bank will be distributing 35,000 pounds of food each day this week until it runs out.
“Over the last four weeks we’ve purchased over $200,000 worth of food,” Jason Jakubowski, president and CEO of FoodShare, said. “By comparison, last year we purchased $300,000 in the entire year.”
Typically, 75% of their food comes from donations from grocery stores, but those stores just don’t have the product to donate at this point.
“Food banks are not in the business of purchasing food,” Jakubowski said. “We can barely keep up with the demand.”
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, who helped distribute potatoes, likened it to the bread lines her grandparents talked about.
“The generosity of the people of Connecticut have made this possible,” Bysiewicz said.
The state is allowing Foodshare to use Rentschler Field for the week as the donation point.
Jakubowski said they will open at 8:30 a.m. everyday and distribute food until noon He said cars were lined up at 6:15 a.m. Many waited at least an hour for a bag of onions, potatoes, apples, bread, and cabbage.
“I think a lot of these people are people who have never dealt with food insecurity before,“ Jakubowski said.
For many it’s the fourth or fifth week without a paycheck if they were laid off when the coronavirus restrictions first started going into place.
Jakubowski said they would be doing this for the rest of the week, but he’s uncertain about any plans past that date.