“We’re definitely seeing a lot of new faces.”

“We are busier than ever right now.”

“This is a hunger crisis.”

Talk to any food pantry director in towns across Connecticut, and that’s what you’ll hear.

State Senator Tony Hwang

A recent Primerica survey revealed that 75% of middle-class households say their income is falling behind the cost of living. Evictions are becoming more and more frequent. From our grocery and electric bills to our health insurance rates to our fill-ups at the gas station, inflation continues eating away at our household budgets.

Of course, we most pointedly see inflation’s impact on the most basic of needs: food items. This has brought about heightened food insecurity to a broader part of our community. An increasing number of Connecticut families cannot afford groceries. They are quietly and reluctantly turning to local food pantries to help them get through these difficult times.

This is our unfortunate reality, so what can we do about it?

1. Fairfield’s Operation Hope is in need to replenish their food pantry and will be holding a food drive on Sept. 4 from 9 a.m. t noon at their food pantry at 636 Old Post Road in Fairfield (back parking lot of First Congregational Church). You can donate monetary funds via secured online donation by clicking here.

2. Newtown’s FAITH Food Pantry has been providing food, fellowship and loving support of Newtown residents and they need our help and donations. As co-founder Lee Paulson often says “but for the grace of God, that if things were different for me, I might be in as bad of a situation as my fellow neighbors. We count our blessings and give to support others in need.” FAITH Food Pantry will be collecting food and canned goods during the annual Newtown Labor Day parade. You can also donate money via secured Paypal Online Transaction by clicking here. Please donate generously.

3. Tennis anyone? You can serve up a lot of support for people in need at the upcoming Connecticut Foodshare Governor’s Open. This fun event will be held Sept. 10 and 11 at The Copper Valley Tennis & Social Club of Cheshire. The $30 per person entry fee includes a souvenir t-shirt, tennis balls and water. All of the net proceeds will benefit the Connecticut Foodshare. Visit their website by clicking here.

We often think of and donate to our food pantries during Thanksgiving and the holiday season. That is wonderful, but help is needed right now. People of all ages can help raise awareness of this pressing need for donations and volunteers. Food drives can be held throughout our cities and towns, from our neighborhood schools and places of worship to our small businesses and local clubs and organizations.

Connecticut food pantry directors are ringing alarm bells. They need us right now. We can take simple steps today to let them know that we hear them. Donate and support local food pantries.

Tony Hwang represents the 28th Senate District, representing Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. On the web: SenatorHwang.com

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