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Report: Family of 4 must make $65,000 in Connecticut to live average life

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If you're trying to make ends meet, then Connecticut is not the state to do it in, according to a report commissioned by the United Way branches of Connecticut.

"I think this number will shock people," said Jennifer Heath, president & CEO of the United Way of Greater New Haven.

The necessary income level, for a family of four, including two preschool age children, needs to be $64,689 to meet the average financial obligations in Connecticut, according to Heath, who noted that number factors basic items like food, health care, housing, childcare and transportation. That is nearly triple the U.S. poverty rate for the same family of four.

"I have never seen anything like that kind of income," said Amy Heidel, a first semester student at Middlesex Community College who struggles as a single mother of three sons.

"I'm spending money on transportation or tuition, so that I can further my education, it really does take away from feeding the family," Heidel said.

However, Middlesex is answering the need of her and other students and staff.

"We know that a good 40 to 50 percent of community college students face food insecurity," said Middlesex professor Judith Felton, who was instrumental in bring the Magic Food Bus to campus.

The bus is stocked with nutritious food, which is available for students and staff to take home with them Monday through Thursday.

"When I left with my bag it was very emotional," said Heidel.

The school is working on creating a partnership wit the Wallingford based Connecticut Food Bank, which now serves 300,000 people.

"Since 2008, Connecticut has seen an additional 50,000 people in poverty," said CFB CEO Bernie Beaudreau.

One way to reach more folks in need: creating school based food pantries, which is presently happening in several Connecticut communities.

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