Foodshare named as ‘best organization to give to’

Foodshare was named to the best in Connecticut list by Business.org. Above, workers pack produce at the Foodshare warehouse.

JAMILA YOUNG

STAFF WRITER

In November 2019 Business.org named Foodshare the best organization to give to in the state of Connecticut, using data collected by Charity Navigator. Business.org gave them a score of 92.99.

“We are honored to have been named best charity for your money in Connecticut,” said Foodshare president and CEO Jason Jakubowski. “When you give to Foodshare, you can feel confident that the money you are donating is being invested right back to people in need here in Greater Hartford.”

Foodshare is located at 450 Woodland Ave. in Bloomfield. They serve both Hartford and Tolland County. The Mobile Foodshare makes two stops in Bristol—one at 70 Gaylord St. every other Monday, from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m., and another at Cambridge Park, 207 Davis Dr. every other Tuesday, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Alan Prior is the Mobile Foodshare driver. He said Foodshare has gotten their food from wholesalers, and farmers, and the employees and volunteers sort the food to be delivered. He also said that Foodshare can really use monetary donations because they can stretch the dollar, and nothing grows in the Winter, so that time of year does take a hit for them.

Sarah Hill is the Foodshare Community Network Builder. She comes out Bristol with Prior with the Mobile Foodshare.

“We don’t have a marketing budges; we don’t have any advertising budgets. It’s all word of mouth how people hear about us. $10 equals 25 meals,” said Hill. “Produce is all free. We give to our 300 partner agencies—including mobiles, pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth programs, senior programs. They come to us, we house it. They pick it up, and they get charged at most 17 cents a pound. I’ve never seen that at any other non-profit, and I love Foodshare for that reason.”

One of Foodshare’s partners in Bristol is the ‘Meals for Neighbors’ emergency food pantry and soup kitchen located at 27 Judd St. where Van Monak Chhun is the Director.

“Our pantry hours and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m., and for folks who can’t come in the morning, we offer the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m.,” said Chhun. “About 85% of the things we have are donated to us, the others I’ll buy from Foodshare at a discount, or if there’s a huge sale—like Shoprite has a can, can sale.”

Chhun said that Foodshare is an anchor for Meals for Neighbors because they point them to the places they can receive donations from, so Chhun likes the vetting process of the donors, so her clients are sure to receive good, quality food.

“That’s helpful; having them guide us in that way because if it’s already vetted, I don’t need a team to go and determine if the food is safe or not,” said Chhun. “On Mondays we pick up groceries from Shoprite that people either donate to us, or the stores can’t sell. We are able to rescue it and offer it at our soup kitchen, or at our pantry.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Jamila Young, email her at JYoung@BristolObserver.com.