June 21, 2018
Reporter: Contact Shannon Yearwood at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Britain, Conn. (June 21, 2018) – End Hunger Connecticut! (EHC!), joined by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, the Connecticut Department of Education, and the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut today joined the annual Summer Meals Blitz and Block Party, this year held in New Britain. The event comes in the middle of ‘Summer Meals Blitz Week’, which began in New Haven on June 16, 2018 and brings volunteers and community leaders together to help connect more kids to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Meals Program.
Shannon Yearwood, Executive Director of End Hunger CT! said, “We have more than 200 Blitz volunteers out pounding the pavement this week across the state; these are the ambassadors to the Summer Meals program—they answer questions, distribute multilingual information packets, and get the word out that finding a summer meals site is as easy as visiting www.ctsummermeals.org, calling 211 or texting ‘CTMeals’ to 877-877. With seven Blitz days in communities throughout Connecticut, we’re hoping to get more kids out at Summer Meals sites and eliminate childhood hunger in the summer.”
Funded through the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by the state Department of Education, Connecticut ranks as one of the top performing states in summer meals. In 2017, providers served more than 1.7 million meals to kids throughout the state.
Lt. Governor Wyman said, “This program and these volunteers makes a big difference in the lives of young people. Good nutrition over the summer helps students stay healthy, retain what they learned in school, and prepare them to start next year ready to learn. I applaud End Hunger CT! and the many partners who’ve come together today with such a commitment to kids.”
Dianna R. Wentzell, Commissioner of the Department of Education said, “Our efforts to combat child hunger do not end with the school year because thousands of children and families across the state will still need access to healthy and nutritious meals during the summer months. By addressing food-insecurity through summer meals and continuing to stimulate children’s minds with enrichment activities at meal sites, we know we are mitigating summer learning loss so that they are happy, healthy and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.”
End Hunger CT! and partner United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut organized the New Britain Blitz and Block Party on the United Way Day of Action to raise awareness of the summer meals sites in Connecticut and offer fun activities for kids and families. Members of the New Britain Public Schools, Whitsons Culinary Group, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, the New Britain Hunger Action Team, and other community partners canvassed New Britain neighborhoods and distributed information promoting the Summer Meals Programs.
Paula S. Gilberto, President and CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, said, “United Way Day of Action is the perfect opportunity to mobilize more than 50 volunteers to help children and families access summer meals and fun, enriching learning experiences. We’re grateful to the workplaces and community partners who share in the vision for the well-being of children and families.”
‘Blitz Week’ includes events in seven different locations: New Haven (6/16), Winsted (6/18), Meriden (6/19), Torrington (6/20), Danbury (6/21), New Britain (6/21) and Waterbury (6/22).
To find a free Summer Meals location near you, visit www.ctsummermeals.org, call toll free 2-1-1, or text ‘CTMeals’ to 877-877.