United Way: Danbury-Area Food Response to COVID-19

United Way of Western CT helps ALICE during the COVID-19 crisis

United Way of Western Connecticut shares your deep concern for the health and well-being of our community, particularly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our most vulnerable residents, and provides you with important information below on available food assistance resources and opportunities for individuals and organizations to support community needs.

Food System Community Response

School Meals

Grab and go meals will be available Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00am-11:30am throughout the district for any child 18 and younger. You will receive 2 days of breakfast and lunch on Mondays and 3 days of breakfast and lunch on Wednesdays for each child. Your child does not need to accompany you to the grab and go. You can drive up and a meal will be delivered to you or stations will be available for a walk up pick up; please refrain from congregating in a single area. Locations and times could change the following week. Any changes will be communicated via a robocall. If you have any questions or have challenges getting to one of these locations, you can email DPS School Nutrition. The locations open on Mondays and Wednesday from 10:00am-11:30am are as follows:

    • Mill Ridge Primary School, 49A High Ridge Road, Danbury, CT 06811
    • Rogers Park Middle School, 21 Memorial Drive, Danbury, CT 06810
    • Stadley Rough School, 25 Karen Road, Danbury, CT 06811
    • Shelter Rock School, 2 Crows Nest Lane, Danbury, CT 06810
    • Morris Street Elementary School, 28 Morris Street, Danbury, CT 06810
    • Ellsworth Avenue School, 53 Ellsworth Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810
    • New Hope Baptist Church, 12 Dr. Aaron B Samuels Blvd, Danbury, CT 06810.
    • Park Ave School 82 Park Ave. Danbury, CT 06810

Food Pantries

Members of the Danbury Food Collaborative which includes providers of critical food assistance services, including food pantries, congregate meal programs, and meal delivery programs, are implementing safety and hygiene precautions to protect the health of participants, volunteers, and staff. Pantries have transitioned from choice pantry models to pre-packed bags, adjusting sign-in and other operational processes to allow social distancing, and enhancing sanitizing practices. The Danbury Food Collaborative’s Guide to Accessing Food can be accessed in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Please call ahead to determine whether operating hours have changed for food pantries or other programs.

Updates:

The Association of Religious Communities (ARC) will be giving out bags of food at 10:30am rather than handing out numbers at 10:30am for their distribution on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. 

The Salvation Army food pantry is open on Wednesday and Fridays from 9:00am-12:00pm only. 

The Connecticut Food Bank Mobile Pantry Schedule is subject to change and will be continuously updated here: http://www.ctfoodbank.org/get-help/connecticut-food-banks-mobile-pantry-schedule/

Congregate Meal Programs

  • Morning Glory Breakfast Program will be temporarily suspending services. The program will continue to be a resource for clients and partners. Morning Glory employees will continue their work with volunteer groups to provide food resources to people in need in the Danbury area.
  • The Department of Elderly Services Elmwood Hall Danbury Senior Center is in the process of working with the State of Connecticut Western CT Area Agency on Aging to develop Grab and Go meals for seniors who are registered at the Danbury Senior Center Congregate meal site. Please visit www.danburyseniors.org for updates.

Home Deliveries

SNAP

End Hunger Connecticut!’s SNAP call center remains in full operation to help residents with applications, redeterminations, and other assistance for SNAP. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you may need to leave a message. English and Spanish support. 866-974-7627. Check hours and more information at www.ctsnap.org

Grocery Stores

  • Grade A ShopRite Supermarkets will reserve 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for customers 65 and older
  • Stop & Shop stores will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6:00a.m.-7:30a.m. daily.
  • Caraluzzi's is opening early 6:30-7:30am every day for shoppers aged 65 and older.
  • Stew Leonard’s will open a half and hour early each day to allow seniors and those with vulnerable immune systems to shop in a less crowded environment
  • Target will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests – including elderly and those with underlying health concerns.
  • Whole Foods: customers who are 60 and older will be able to shop at stores in the US and Canada one hour before opening time for the general public. For instance, if a store's posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., these older customers can come in starting at 8:00 a.m
  • Walmart: From March 24 through April 28, Walmart will hold an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens.

Please note that grocery stores may experience shortages of food and are working hard to continually restock supplies.

United Way of Western Connecticut, the Danbury Food Collaborative and Age Well Council will continue to convene community partners digitally to share resources, best practices, and updates as the situation evolves.

Food Assistance Resources for Local Residents

Community Support is Critical.

Danbury area residents and organizations interested in supporting their community’s COVID-19 food assistance response are encouraged to:

  • Support food assistance providers in your community. See Guide to Accessing Food In Danbury for a complete list of community providers.
  • Donate
    • Donate to the Danbury Food Collaborative to help support this network of food pantries, congregate meal providers and related  food system agencies and partners who work together to serve our community's most vulnerable, food-insecure residents. Or check out the Guide to Accessing Food in Danbury for a list of agencies providing emergency relief that you may contact directly.
    • Donate to the ALICE Emergency Fund of United Way of Western Connecticut. This fund will expand the ability of individuals and families to purchase fresh produce through our Healthy Savings Program. Participants in the program will receive $20 of fresh produce for free each week for six weeks at participating grocery stores, with the flexibility to extend depending on the availability of funds. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and the needs of those who are struggling continue to shift, this fund will have the flexibility to address additional basic needs beyond food security
    • Donate to the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund. United Ways across the state have created this fund to rapidly deploy financial resources to individuals and families economically affected by the pandemic.
    • Provide financial support and/or supplies to local pantries and agencies.
    • Contact organizations for specific needs, including unused grocery bags, sanitizing equipment, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
    • Contact Food Rescue US to donate surplus food or volunteer to deliver surplus food (food prepared in a licensed kitchen, that has not been served to the public).
  • Volunteer
    • Contact locations directly for volunteering information or visit our Get Connected portal which is being updated with volunteer and agency needs.
  • Support your neighbors
    • Call neighbors, particularly those who are limiting public interaction or might already experience isolation, such as seniors and housebound individuals, to check on their food supplies and offer to pick up groceries or supplies if needed. Take precaution to protect your and the recipient's health when delivering to someone’s home, plan to stand six feet away from the door. 
    • Follow usual food safety guidelines when preparing food for others, including (courtesy of the Community Food Rescue Food Safety guidelines):
      • If you are sick, or starting to feel unwell, do not prepare food for, or serve food to, others. If someone else in your household is sick, avoid taking food to people outside your home.
      • Wear a waterproof bandage if you have a cut.
      • Wash hands and exposed arms up to your elbows with warm water and soap before handling food.
      • Wash hands again if you do any of the following: use the restroom, smoke, touch your hair, face, clothes or body, blow your nose, sneeze, cough, handle raw meat or eggs, touch your cellphone or other device, eat or drink, or use cleaning chemicals.
      • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum near exposed food.


Please visit this page for continued updates, or United Way's COVID-19 Resource page for information  including mental health resources, educational resources (including for students with special needs and learning differences). Through our social media and listservs, we will continue to serve as a communications pathway to relevant information about available resources, advisories, and response support opportunities. 

Additional Resources:

Sincerely,

Cara Mitchell
Food Policy Manager
United Way of Western Connecticut
cara.mitchell@uwwesternct.org