For immediate release
WALLINGFORD, CONN., May 21, 2020 — A $515,000 grant from Lockheed Martin will help Connecticut Food Bank meet increased need in its six-county service area caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of March, Connecticut Food Bank has seen need double in communities throughout its service area.
“This grant helps us respond to unprecedented need that continues in our area,” said Connecticut Food Bank Chief Operating Officer Dan Gomez. “While the state begins its reopening process, we know that many people will not recover from job losses or cuts in hours for many months to come.”
“Connecticut has faced many challenges due to COVID-19, and Connecticut Food Bank is responding to one of the greatest challenges as it provides food to those impacted by this pandemic,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “I commend the work of the Connecticut Food Bank and am proud to have businesses in our state like Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, who value supporting our community.”
The donation will support the purchase, transportation, storage, and redistribution of food by Connecticut Food Bank through a network of 500 food access points in the six counties it serves in Connecticut. Before the pandemic, food industry donations made up more than 60% of the food distributed by Connecticut Food Bank. Increased consumer demand has meant that those donations have fallen by nearly 70%, Mr. Gomez said.
“We are purchasing food to fill the gap left by a decrease in food donations from industry partners,” Mr. Gomez said, adding that the food bank has purchased more than 3 million pounds of food since the beginning of March. “That’s more food than we purchased throughout all of last year.”
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has long supported Connecticut Food Bank through donations and volunteer hours. “We are grateful for this grant from Sikorsky that helps to strengthen and support our communities,” said Mr. Gomez.
In addition to providing financial support, Lockheed Martin and its nearly 7,900 employees in the state are manufacturing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, contributing to school districts for distance learning and donating meals to front-line workers. Sikorsky’spresence as a major employer in the state means the company’s retirees, employees and their families are linked to the long-term health and prosperity of the region.
“We have seen firsthand the selfless dedication of our local nonprofits who work tirelessly to meet the growing demand for food and countless other resources during these challenging times,” said Sikorsky President Dan Schultz. “We stand by our communities and are proud to support the Connecticut Food Bank.”
Food pantries and soup kitchens in the Connecticut Food Bank network report increased need of 40% or more due to increased demand from people who have lost work due to the pandemic. Many of the food bank’s mobile distribution sites have seen traffic increases of 50% or greater.
“We have seen skyrocketing need, but we are seeing tremendous generosity in the way of donations,” noted Mr. Gomez. “Financial donations are being put to work to support food purchases, deliveries and food distributions that are helping our partners provide food to neighbors in six counties through more than 500 food access points across our area.”
About Connecticut Food Bank:
Connecticut Food Bank distributes food through a network of 500 partners and programs in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham counties, representing more than 70% of the state’s population and where 65% of the state’s food insecure – nearly 270,000 people – struggle with hunger. Last year, Connecticut Food Bank distributed food to help provide 22.5 million meals. Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger, and advocating for people who struggle with food insecurity. Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors, and volunteers to distribute nutritious food to people in need. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram
About Lockheed Martin:
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.