Growing Number Of New Canaan Residents Are Food Insecure

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Demand on food pantries in Fairfield County is increasing with the number of people who have lost their jobs when the economy tanked.
Demand on food pantries in Fairfield County is increasing with the number of people who have lost their jobs when the economy tanked. Photo Credit: Contributed by p2p Food Pantry

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – A growing number of people in Fairfield County don’t always know where their next meal is coming from, according to a new study done by the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

“Food is defiantly a basic but critical need,” said Nancy von Euler, program director at the Foundation.

It’s a hidden issue, she said, because Fairfield County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country, but it’s a growing concern because of the slow economy.

“Hunger is one of those things that everyone experiences from time to time. But food insecurity is when you’re having a continual problem meeting the needs,” von Euler said.

What the study found was that soup kitchens and food pantries in Fairfield County are experiencing increased demand for their services.

“They are really meant to meet short-term needs of food,” von Euler said. “And they’re really not equipped for the long-term and systemic needs.”

Much of the need is coming from a group of people that von Euler calls the "working poor." These people might have jobs, but the jobs don’t pay enough for much of anything after rent, she said. The number of people who lost their jobs since the economic recession began in 2008 increases these numbers, von Euler said.

Complicating matters is the high cost of living locally, she said. The national average cost for a meal is $2.50, but in Fairfield County the average meal is $3.17, the study reports, and the $3.17 is up from $2.95 in 2010. This means that the average cost of a meal is not only more expensive than the national average, but in Fairfield County it’s also increasing faster.

“We feel that some people are food insecure now are maybe food insecure for the first time in their lives, and may not be familiar with the resources that are out there to help them,” von Euler said. Many of them live in suburban areas where public transportation is unreliable, and having a car with a full gas tank is necessary to get to grocery stores or food pantries.

The study highlights ways that people who might be in these situations can help themselves, especially for families with children. One of the things the study focuses on is the number of children enrolled in the free breakfasts and free and reduced lunches at schools that might be available to them.

Among the statistics, the study talks about ways people can find help, either through the Foundation or by calling 211.

To read the complete study, click here

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Comments (15)

Will the republican destruction never end??

Welcome to the latest 'Kondratieff' 'Winter'. This one's going to be a duzie;

Anyone come to the realization that the only groups not suffering during this long recession are government employees, politicians, and unions that sell their votes to government?

How about government reduce spending and let us make our own choices?

Some of those CT SNAP cards are used in Disneyland....

You can thank the Republicans for this.

M3 Driver I agree

No solutions. Just blame gamers. Sounds like some child...- no you -

yes Ken that is very true about the republicans. thanks for the post

you cant be serious.
we are what, 6 years since bush and 8 years since republicans controlled Congress? even debbie wasserman schultz, your DNC Chairwoman, said 2 years ago that obama "owned this economy".

but keep posting, you're bringing much needed entertainment to a sad topic.

I agree that the republicans screwed thing up so bad that it has taken 6 years to clean up the republican mess.

food insecurity
haven't heard that one before. So, now we have Job insecurity, housing insecurity, transportation insecurity just from this one article.
Wonderful economy we have, thanks Washington.

uncle: You haven't heard "food insecure" before, because it's a newly minted, poverty-pimp buzzword. The specter of "hunger" prowling the streets of Easton, Weston and Redding would cause people to laugh hysterically; so what you do is come up with a new buzz-phrase--"food insecurity"--smear Easton/Weston in with Bridgeport, and start looking for grants, funding, and higher taxes to fund your poverty-pimp enterprise. Stay tuned for another buzz: "urban desert", which means an area where theft by employees, shoplifting, auto theft and mayhem have driven supermarkets out of business, and the "desert" inhabitants are now forced to spend their food stamps and welfare budgets at bodegas, which charge more, but are much more handy, and which often serve as venues for the purchase of substances not found in supermarkets. The bottom line of all this bilge is that you are supposed to hate yourself for staying in school, marrying before you breed, working, saving, and not going to jail or using drugs. Coughing up more of your income is the remedy suggested for assuaging your guilt.

You can thank Obama for the economy.

Food stamps at an all time high. The govt actually ADVERTISES to get more people ON food stamps. So much for the Obama "recovery".

This must be a set up piece for higher taxes and more wealth distribution....that will kill business investment, raise costs and kill more jobs....leading to NEW calls for more wealth redistribution.

...wait for it....

By the way, the article states that "having a car with a full gas tank is necessary to get to grocery stores or food pantries." It is? Really? A FULL tank is required? Is the store 400 miles away? 'Free' gas must be next up....

Why not "free gas"? They have free food, free housing, free medical care, free legal counsel,free education, free social workers serving them, and free Obama phones. Why not free gas, and, for that matter, why not a free car so they can drive to a non-"desert" shopping mall to spend their food stamps and welfare checks? And it should be a full-size car so they can bring their illegitimate children along for the ride.

Yes and all due to what Bush created 6 years ago.