Stew Leonard's hands out turkeys to residents, Connecticut Food Share
Stew Leonard's stores were handing out thousands of turkeys across the state Thursday at a time when Connecticut food banks say their need is especially dire.
At Stew Leonard's Norwalk location, local first responders lent a hand with the drive-through giveaway.
The Leonard family says the initiative is more important than ever with rising prices making it harder to put food on Connecticut's tables.
"With our customers, even with myself, you know, I'm a mom of three little kids, and you can just see how inflation is hitting all of us right now," said Blake Leonard, president of wine at Stew Leonard's.
Stew Leonard's Hero of the Year award for 2022 went to Connecticut Food Share, who also received some turkeys Thursday. They say recent inflation has left their need especially dire.
"Inflation hits us in two different directions. It increases the number of people who rely on our services, but also the food we have to purchase is more expensive than it was a year ago," said Connecticut Food Share President and CEO Jason Jakubowski.
Jakubowski says 425,000 people in Connecticut are food insecure - a number that rose sharply during COVID-19.
"The good news is, the numbers are lower than where they were at the peak of the pandemic. The bad news is, we're nowhere close to getting to where we were pre-pandemic," said Jakubowski.
The food bank aiming to collect and distribute 50,000 turkeys and sides before Thanksgiving on top of their usual year-round giving.
Inflation also took Connecticut Food Share's yearly "Turkey and 30" campaign up to a requested $40 donation.
To donate to Connecticut Food Share, click here.