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CT’s ‘food insecure’ residents increased by 90,000 in 2022, many of them children

Emil Danailov, a volunteer and customer of the Plymouth Community Food Pantry, stocks the pantry shelves. CREDIT: SHAHRZAD RASEKH / CT MIRROR

In Connecticut, one of the 10 wealthiest states in the U.S., nearly half a million people don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

One in eight residents of the state experienced “food insecurity” in 2022, rising from one in 10 in 2021, according to the latest annual “Map the Meal Gap” report from hunger-relief organization Feeding America. 

In that time frame, the number of people considered food insecure in the state rose by 90,000, to 470,000.

Funding the unmet need for food assistance in Connecticut would cost over $375 million, the report estimated. The state’s current annual budget allocates $850,000 to the Connecticut Nutrition Assistance Program, CT-NAP. 

“We definitely have a ways to go here,” Jason Jakubowski, president of Connecticut Foodshare, said at a press conference announcing the findings in Hartford Wednesday. He added that Massachusetts and New York each spend over $30 million annually on their respective hunger assistance programs.

Jakubowski was joined at the podium by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers who pledged, one by one, to devote millions more dollars in public funds to the food banks and food pantries that provide for residents in every district in the state. 

But that won’t happen for at least another year. A bill proposing to raise the state’s annual contribution to CT-NAP to $10 million — co-sponsored by nearly 60 members of the legislature — died without getting a public hearing during this year’s session. The General Assembly decided not to reopen budget negotiations during the second year of the biennium, meaning many bills that would have required new funding were jettisoned.

This article is republished with the permission of CTMirror.org.

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