Donor Stories

Making a lasting impact to help those in need

Ellen_Ryerson-003-150x150Connecticut Food Bank supporter Ellen Ryerson leads a balanced and enriched life.  And it was this balanced approach that the retired attorney and university administrator took to achieve her philanthropic goals through estate planning.

Ellen volunteered for the Food Bank in the late 1980s when she was “between jobs.” Having gone from a career in academic administration at Yale University into private legal practice at Wiggin & Dana, she decided to return to the academic world.  After this interlude and for the next decade plus, Ellen played leadership roles at New York Law School and, again, at Yale.

“I was seeking meaningful volunteer work that would support those less fortunate,” Ellen said. “I felt that not going hungry was pretty close to the top of the list of human needs.” It was then she began volunteering at Connecticut Food Bank’s main warehouse in East Haven, sorting canned goods and preparing produce and salvage food items for distribution.  Read more.

Helping fight hunger in retirement

10256841Med_WEB-150x150Food Bank donor “Joyce”* truly shares the Food Bank’s values. “Connecticut Food Bank is the most important charity I support. Growing up middle-class, I did not have want for food. The times have changed for the middle-class in this downturn,” Joyce said. “That’s why I support the Food Bank’s work.”

Joyce, a retired social worker in New Haven, didn’t see hunger first-hand with the families she was seeing – they could easily afford costly in-patient psychiatric care. But poverty among the remainder of New Haven was blatantly obvious to her.

To help combat hunger, Joyce applied an innovative method when making her gift. By giving through her IRA, she was able to fulfill her wish to support the Food Bank, plus realized some tax savings. Read more.