Eastern CT, comprised loosely of New London and Windham Counties, lies far from the affluence that characterizes the rest of the state. It is an area of contrasts, with multi-cultural, economically-distressed urban areas -- New London (pop. 26,858), Norwich (pop. 38,768), and Windham (pop. 24,561)1 -- isolated in the midst of a rural, predominantly white region.
The rural areas surrounding these communities are equally full of contrasts. The area, referred to as ‘The Quiet Corner’, is part of “The Last Green Valley”, a National Heritage Corridor that celebrates and preserves the region’s rural ambience and natural landscape.
Inequitable distribution of power: Food assistance infrastructure and decision-making has historically been driven by funders and service providers, rather than constituents. There are pervasive barriers in place when accessing food pantries. Documentation status, administrative requirements, language barriers, inconvenient hours, transportation, and lack of culturally-appropriate food options can make them inaccessible and often dehumanizing for many Latinx immigrants.
Inequitable access to resources: In the US, food is treated as a commodity, rather than a right. In order to access healthy food, one must have access to employment that provides a living wage. However – as we have seen dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – employees in food service and the informal economy are extremely vulnerable. They experience little protections regarding wages, rights or benefits. Immigrant community members are particularly vulnerable, and have limited access to employment opportunities.
Food Insecurity in Windham County
The charts above were published by the Office of Legislative Research in the research report titled "Food Insecurity in Connecticut" in 2020. Please click on the chart to view source material.
The charts above were published by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Please click on the chart to view source material.