Foodshare: Helping families in need

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BLOOMFIELD -- Imagine the stress and anxiety for one local family. They were new parents, bringing home three newborns and mom and dad weren't able to work.

That's when Foodshare stepped up, helping the family put food on their table and renewing their hope for the future.

Six years ago the Woodward family went from two to five, with the addition of triplets. A tough adjustment for any couple, but especially difficult since both mom and dad couldn't work. Both parents were on medical leave and went through their savings quickly.

Chris and Alana got help from their community food pantry in Newington. It's supported by the Foodshare headquarters and warehouse in Bloomfield. The nonprofit is putting food on the table, and nourishment for their soul.

"It gave us a sense of hope we weren't alone and that was very helpful as we as we got back to my feet to realize that you had there are organizations out there to to help people like us, struggling young families," said Chris.

The Woodward's story is much more common than most people realize. In Hartford and Tolland County is there are about 137,000 people at risk of food insecurity.  That means they're not always sure where their next meal will come. Foodshare officials point out hunger in America is very different, because often times it's invisible. They say people don't often broadcast the fact that they're having a tough time putting food on the table or making ends meet.

People are incredibly generous around the holidays, said Foodshare, because that's when people think about giving back the most, but hunger is a year-round issue. The organization sees peak volume for need in the summertime, because that's when most children are out of school.

Thousands of volunteers and thousands of donations provide more than 11 million meals a year at Foodshare.

Foodshare's annual Walk Against Hunger is coming up on May 7, at Liam E. McGee Memorial Park, located at 140 Garden Street in Hartford. The event aims to raise money, awareness, and support. The Woodward family will be there, rain or shine, along with their three little girls, paying it forward for the next family.

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