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CT food insecurity on the rise

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks to volunteers at Filling in the Blanks as they pack meals.
Molly Ingram
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks to volunteers at Filling in the Blanks as they pack meals for food insecure children in 2023.

Food insecurity rose by 23% between 2021 and 2022 in Connecticut, according to a report from national nonprofit Feeding America.

A person is food insecure if they’re hungry and unsure of where their next meal is coming from, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jacob Jakubowski, president of food bank Connecticut Foodshare, spoke about the report at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

“Most of these individuals are employed with one, maybe more working jobs," Jakubowski said. "These are seniors on fixed incomes, and they're just neighbors of ours, neighbors of yours, neighbors of mine, in every district in this state, who just happen to be running up against a challenging period in their lives."

During the recent legislative session, a bill to allocate $10 million to the Connecticut Nutrition Assistance Program (CNAP) had support from more than 60 legislators, but it failed.

“When we can't do this when there is funding, what are we going to do when there is no funding?” said State Senator Saud Anwar, who had supported the measure, referencing the leftover American Rescue Plan Act money that was distributed to keep the state from altering its fiscal guardrails. “That's when it gets real for us. But it's real for people every single day who are not sure about their next meal.”

The CNAP program is currently allocated $850,000. Feeding America says it would cost $375 million to solve food insecurity in the state.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.