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WNPR: Addressing misconceptions around food insecurity: ‘It’s about more than food’

WNPR: Addressing misconceptions around food insecurity: ‘It’s about more than food’

WNPR’s Where We Live this morning dove into the importance of addressing food insecurity, or hunger, as a broader symptom of poverty and in a more holistic manner.  The situation is worsening each year; as Connecticut Foodshare’s CEO, Jason Jakubowski, says, “This is about as bad as we’ve seen it.”  But the solution is not just about getting more food out to more people.  It’s also about ensuring that people have access to a variety of state and federal programs beyond just food.  Meanwhile, Forge City Works in Hartford is piloting an income-based pricing model for small grocery markets.  Is this a model that might work in New Haven?

Have a listen and add your comments below.

From Katie Pellico & Catherine Shen’s reporting:

For a Connecticut family of four, it costs over $126,000 just to meet their basic needs, according to a recent United Way report. That’s more than four times the federal poverty level.


Food insecurity is a big part of the problem, affecting more than 1 in 10 Connecticut residents, according to Connecticut Foodshare. A new report from the United States Department of Agriculture found the national rate of food insecurity jumped by more than 2% from 2021 to 2022, now 12.8% of U.S. households.


This hour, UConn’s Dr. Caitlin Caspi joins us to address some of the misconceptions around food insecurity.


“Food insecurity isn’t happening in a vacuum,” she says. “It’s really intersecting with a lot of other challenges that people face,” including stable housing, health insurance, job security, disability, and other factors. “Food insecurity isn’t primarily a story about food,” says Dr. Caspi. “It’s about many facets of economic instability.”


Plus, we’ll discuss some of Connecticut Foodshare’s efforts to address food insecurity where we live, including an income-based grocery store coming soon to Hartford, where food insecurity rates are highest in the state.


Hartford High School just launched the Grub Pub, an in-school pantry. Principal Flora Padro joins us later in the hour, describing the “new normal” she envisions.




Cat Pastor contributed to this episode which originally aired October 26, 2023.

In the News: SNAP/WIC, Narcan, & Student Homelessness

In the News: SNAP/WIC, Narcan, & Student Homelessness

NPR’s Morning Edition hit on three topics this morning that cover much of what we do at DESK: hunger, homelessness, and the opioid crisis.  Stay informed!  Take a few minutes to listen to these short pieces:


  1. Agriculture secretary says government shutdown would impact department’s programs: How will the looming government shutdown affect those who receive SNAP and WIC?  (Short answer: It could be catastrophic for families who depend on these programs.)
  2. Maine’s housing crisis contributes to a big increase in student homelessness Can short-term financial assistance through schools help families avoid eviction and homelessness?  (Short answer: Yes! Direct and immediate financial assistance has been proven to keep people housed.)
  3. An overdose drug is finally over-the-counter. Is that enough to stop the death toll?  Narcan is now available over-the-counter — but how accessible is it really to those who need it now?  (Short answer: With prices as high as $72 per box, Narcan is still unattainable from those most at risk of a deadly overdose.)