HEADLINES

Statement from Connecticut Food Bank on New Fee Structure for Member Agencies

Connecticut Food Bank provides nutritious food to people in need through a network of community-based member agencies in communities across six counties of the state. Our member agencies are a vital link between the compassion of donors and the nearly 280,000 individuals in 127 Connecticut cities and towns that struggle with food insecurity and hunger. More than 500 food access points distribute food from Connecticut Food Bank.

Recently, Connecticut Food Bank took the step to update our membership and fee structure after nearly 40 years. Much thought was given to the rising cost of operations, the change in our service over time, and respecting the finances of our member agencies. Our goal was to bring fees into closer alignment with operating costs to support strong network capacity, and not place the operational burden entirely on our member agencies.

Faced with a significant spike in need across our area as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic,
Connecticut Food Bank opted to revisit the fee structure and to waive all fees in the short term while working with member agencies to feed a growing population of people struggling with food insecurity.


After careful research and counsel with many member agencies and our Board of Directors, we
developed a new fee structure that we believe can help defray a part of our operational costs without placing undue burdens on our valued partners. At the end of July, we will begin to charge fees to our members under the new structure. The new fee structure includes three membership levels based on the amount of food agencies order in a year and starts at $40.00 and is capped at $100.00. Delivery fees are based on pounds per delivery and start at $50.00 and are capped at $100.00. The fee does not apply to orders picked up at our warehouse.


Connecticut Food Bank operates a fleet of refrigerated vehicles that travel more than 20,000 miles each month to transport food. Delivery from Connecticut Food Bank has been free of charge, while among food banks nationally, it is common practice to charge delivery fees. Member agencies do pick up food at our warehouse, but many are a longer distance away and do not have the capacity to pick up larger orders. Our transportation team is working where possible to offer coordinated deliveries to smaller agencies where the order can be brought to a central location and cooperating agencies will be able to split a delivery charge in multiple ways, further reducing their costs.

Sadly, hunger in our nation has become a problem of epidemic proportions, driven by social and
economic factors that force people into food insecurity, despite the fact that many individuals are
working one or more jobs, yet are unable to meet basic living expenses. As the need has grown,
Connecticut Food Bank has grown to meet the challenge. Today, we distribute food through a network of partners and our own mobile programs in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham counties, representing 71% of the state’s population and where 65% of the state’s food insecure population – nearly 270,000 people – struggle with hunger.

We have a mission to provide nutritious food to people in need. Our model of operation continues to be providing this food at minimal cost to agencies that are the feet on the ground in the fight against hunger in our communities. We continue to work with our member agencies to build a food assistance network that is equipped to meet the changing needs in our area and build our shared capacity to serve.


 

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