Connecticut officials launch initiative to assist food pantries

Food pantry generic
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is facilitating statewide distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers-to-Families Food Boxes under a new initiative that provides emergency food resources for Connecticut's food pantries.

Starting Monday, September 28 through Saturday, October 31, about 40 tractor-trailer loads of food will be coming into Connecticut weekly, Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture said, with 240,000 boxes of food.

Under the initiative, Hurlburt said food pantries and other interested parties must sign up on the website,, to express interest in receiving food boxes.

"The USDA has changed their vendors for the Farmers-to-Families food box and none of the previous vendors that were responsible for Connecticut received the award." Hurlburt said.

As a result, he said the state launched this initiative to help food pantries in need of assistance with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The website also includes resources on food procurement and distribution, volunteer assistance, shipping and storage supports, and more, according to state officials.

"Connecticut families that are facing hardship because of COVID-19, loss of a job or reduced hours because of COVID, they need this. They need to not have to worry about where their food is coming from. The pantries are doing that work, and we want to support them in this effort," Hurlburt said.