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With Foodshare and YMCA, Bringing Food and Healthcare to New Britain’s Needy

March 31, 2021

Hartford HealthCare is once again showing its commitment to the community by partnering with Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare and the New Britain YMCA to make sure everyone has access to food, healthcare and the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Hartford HealthCare is not going to leave any community behind and that means continuing to show up in the community and meeting people where they are,” said Sarah Lewis, vice president of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Every other Wednesday, beginning March 31, Foodshare will be at the New Britain YMCA on Hart Street to hand out food to those who need it most. Foodshare estimates it will help between 80-120 people at the New Britain location. Most of the items handed out will be perishable – including fruits and vegetables. People lining up for assistance have suffered hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know during COVID-19 there have been many people struggling with both food insecurity and health disparities,” said Katie Martin, executive director for the Foodshare Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions.

Hartford HealthCare is taking it one step further by providing access and registration to the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community who show up for food distribution. The three-organization partnership is helping remove barriers for people who want to get vaccinated – especially in the communities hit hard by the virus.

“I see today’s work as a combination of providing people access to the essentials,” said Lewis. “People need food, people need nourishment and people need vaccines and healthcare in order to get out of this crisis we’ve been living in the last year.”

On April 1, Connecticut will expand vaccine eligibility to people age 16 and over.

“As we get more vaccines from the state we will continue to expand our schedules,” said Dr. James Cardon, a Hartford HealthCare Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Integration Officer.

Hartford HealthCare plans to partner with Foodshare to identify sites in other communities to help expand access to the COVID-19 vaccines.