WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2) applauded the United Way of South Eastern Connecticut Inc. on Wednesday for receiving a $35,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to launch their “Setting the Table for a Just Food System” program, which aims to increase access to healthy food throughout low-income communities in southeastern Connecticut. The program will bring New London Food Policy Council (NLCFPC), United Way, FRESH New London and Spark Makerspace together to create a local, self-reliant food system that serves small farmers and agricultural businesses, as well as low-income Connecticut residents. The partnership will culminate in a Food Action Plan that will recommend strategies for reducing health disparities and improving food security through policy, community improvement projects and social enterprising solutions that drive new economic development regionally.
“This is a creative program that will drive business for local farms and help families in southeastern Connecticut get fresh, healthy food,” said the members of Congress. “Connecticut is leading the way with innovative community partnerships that connect our cities and towns to fresh Connecticut produce. We’re thrilled that USDA recognizes our work and is investing in this great partnership.”
“We are excited and grateful to receive this wonderful grant to expand our work in New London County to help people facing hunger,” said Virginia L. Mason, President & CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. “This generous grant allows us, along with our partners, to hire a Food Fellow to focus on issues around hunger and ultimately create a Food Action Plan to reduce health disparities and improve food security. We are especially appreciative of Senator Murphy and his office for championing this cause with us.”