The City of Danbury is fortunate to have a number of food pantries and congregate meal providers to address the needs of food insecure residents. However, the city lacked an entity that allowed those providers to meet on a regular basis, discuss shared concerns, coordinate food donations, or jointly apply for grants.
Acting as a convener of these providers was a natural role for United Way of Western Connecticut to play. By bringing the providers together, we were able to help community partners address the needs of people who are food insecure in an intentional, coordinated way.
The Danbury Food Collaborative was launched in 2013. Since then, members have increased their capacities to better serve their clients and they have expanded their ability to offer fresh, healthy food.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
- More than 20 food pantries and congregate meal providers in each community meet on a regular basis to discuss opportunities for food rescue and delivery, client needs and trends, and other shared concerns.
- The Danbury Food Collaborative has published A Guide to Accessing Food in multiple languages: English/Espanol (PDF) Português (PDF)
- Working together, the collaboratives were awarded grants to increase refrigeration and freezer space in local pantries, so that more fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish can be offered to clients.
- When Connecticut Food Bank was no longer able to provide a food rescue driver in the Danbury area, the members of the Danbury Food Collaborative stepped up to the plate. First with a volunteer driver, and then with part-time paid staff, they worked to keep food rescue efforts going. Since October 2017, they have rescued more than $1 million in food, much of it fresh produce, meat, and dairy.
For more information about the Stamford Food Collaborative, contact Cara Mitchell at 203-883-0879 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
$25,000 in grants awarded to purchase new freezers and refrigerators to store healthy food
$1 million in fresh food rescued by the Danbury Food Collaborative
80,000+ pounds of food distributed to pantries in Danbury through our partnership with the Danbury-area Postal Carriers Food Drive in 2018.
If you need immediate assistance accessing emergency food or nutrition programs, please dial 2-1-1 or visit 211ct.org for United Way’s free and confidential database of services and programs for those in need.