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More Hungry Families in Connecticut Outside Cities

April 20, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - The severe recession of the last two years, with rising unemployment and rates of home foreclosures, finds more Connecticut residents using emergency food pantries in the suburbs and small towns than in the inner cities, according to the most recent data from the state's two food banks. The figures show 50,000 children hungry in Hartford and Tolland counties alone.

Gloria McAdam is the executive director of Foodshare, the food bank serving the area, and she says the number of hungry households in the town of Enfield more than doubled over the past two years, to 4,000.

"And I swear not a week goes by but that I hear a story about someone who's in line to get food at a site in the suburbs who says, 'I used to always give to this program. I never thought I'd have to be here in line.'"

McAdam says Foodshare's 27th annual walk against hunger May 2 will raise funds to help people wherever they live.

"There's always been programs in the suburbs that were feeding people in need, but the rates of growth in the last two years have been just incredible, and it's definitely way more people than they've ever seen before."

She says about a third of the people Foodshare helps need food for six months or less, while a third need help for up to 18 months, and another third need long-term assistance.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT