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As Poverty Rises, New London Begins New Food Distribution Service

New London, Connecticut, residents lining up at food distribution center.
Brian Scott-Smith
WSHU Public Radio
New London, Connecticut, residents lining up at food distribution center.

A new food distribution service has been unveiled in the city of New London, Connecticut.

Mayor New London Michael Passero said the new service adds to a dairy express service they’re already providing to hard hit local residents.

“This line shows you the dramatic need we have in this city you know for food,” Passero said. “It shows you the unemployment level that we’re experiencing here and just the human toll this pandemic is taking on people.”

New London is the fifth poorest city in Connecticut and ranks having the fourth lowest median income in the state. Food insecurity in the city has risen almost 30% during the pandemic.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said the pandemic has shown a system that was already broken.

“A lot of the problems like racial injustice, food insecurity have been exacerbated and really revealed by COVID. It has taken the veneer and the kind of wrapper off these problems so that now they are visible to everyone and they need to be confronted,” Blumenthal said.

The new food distribution service has been created from the merger of the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare with operations in nearby Norwich and Norwalk, as well as the drive-thru food distribution at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.