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Health and Food Security

GETTING HEALTHY FOOD TO STRUGGLING FAMILIES

At United Way, we believe that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food, regardless of their income.

This year we will provide more than 160,000 healthy meals to households in our region.

United Way of Western Connecticut conducted community conversations and collected more than 500 surveys in 2015. We were surprised to find that more than 50% of the families we surveyed found it a challenge to pay for food.

Unfortunately, after paying for housing, transportation, and childcare, many families have very little money left to spend on food. We all know that healthy produce is often the most expensive food at the market. Because of their extremely tight budgets, many hard-working families must resort to unhealthy options, including high-carbohydrate, nutrient-poor foods to feed their children.

Like you, we think that people who work hard should be able to put fresh, healthy food on the table.

OUR SOLUTION

We’re exploring and implementing innovative ways to make healthy food more affordable and accessible to struggling families. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Making fresh, healthy food more affordable at grocery stores so people can shop with dignity and choose the foods their families like, through the Healthy Savings Program.
  • Offering free, fresh food at evening Mobile Food Pantries, at a time that’s convenient for working people.
  • Coordinating GROW Trucks that offer nutrition workshops and up to 70 pounds of fresh food at each visit.
  • Providing backbone support to the Danbury and Stamford Food Collaboratives so that food providers can effectively work together to feed the community.

 

HOW WE’RE DOING SO FAR

$237,000 invested in healthy food initiatives in 2018

500+ households per month served through Mobile Food Pantries and GROW Trucks 2018

194,000+ pounds of food distributed at Mobile Food Panties in 2018

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
 

By bringing together community and statewide partners, we have created new ways to get fresh, healthy food to hard-working people, allowing them to lead healthier lives and helping them to stretch their hard-earned dollars.

HEALTHY SAVINGS
This innovative program lets struggling individuals and families purchase healthy food at grocery stores at a substantial discount, using an electronic card or mobile app. >>Learn More

MOBILE FOOD PANTRIES
Working with the Connecticut Food Bank and local churches, we have established Mobile Food Pantries in the early evening hours, so people who work can receive free, fresh food. >>Learn More

GROW TRUCKS
United Way coordinates this program in Danbury, New Milford, and Stamford. Attendees benefit from nutrition workshops and up to 70 pounds of food at each visit. >>Learn More

DANBURY AND STAMFORD FOOD TRUCKS
By bringing together food pantries and meal providers to work in a collaborative and intentional way, we are more efficiently serving the needs of people who struggle to afford food in the regions we serve.
>>Danbury Food Collaborative
>>Stamford Food Collaborative

WEEKEND FOOD
United Way has aligned resources and garnered additional grants so fewer children will go hungry on weekends. >>Learn More

FAMILYWIZE
United Way participates in teh FamilyWize program to help people save money on prescription medications. >>Learn More

If you need immediate assistance accessing emergency food or nutrition programs, please call 2-1-1 or visit 211ct.org for the United Way’s free and confidential database of services and programs for those in need.