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Connecticut is preparing to ease food insecurity connected to supply chain issues

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.
Andrew Harnik
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.

Help is on the way for Connecticut families and businesses harmed by food insecurity due to national supply chain disruptions.

Speaking at Brazi’s Italian Restaurant in New Haven, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said the suppliers in the restaurant and food industries are still facing labor and transportation challenges due to the pandemic.

Inflation has presented another burden for food shoppers. The cost of poultry, canned soup and rice have increased by nearly 40%, according to market watchers.

DeLauro said money from the American Rescue Act will help reduce costs by investing nearly $4 billion in food production and market opportunities.

“We’re going to strengthen the food infrastructure,” DeLauro said. “We’re going to make it regional so we are not dependent on one large producer or just one outlet for the source of our products.”

Jacob Jakubowski, president of Connecticut Foodshare, said distribution of meals to families across the state — 75% of which is normally food donated by the grocery industry — was at a standstill at the start of the pandemic.

“This has definitely been an organizational strain for us,” he said. “So, imagine the immense impact that it has on people struggling with food insecurity and utilizing SNAP to purchase their food, who now see their extremely fixed food budget cover less and less.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in the process of unrolling grant and loan opportunities to support local farmers and small-scale producers.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.