The boards of directors of both Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank have approved a merger between the state’s two largest nonprofit anti-hunger organizations, effective Jan. 30.
As previously reported, the union establishes one statewide organization to address food insecurity. With a combined annual budget of approximately $110 million, the new organization will be home to 115 employees and more than 8,000 annual volunteers. It will be led by current Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski.
“Now we will be able to address hunger with a united voice, a fully coordinated distribution model and an integrated set of programs made available across the entire state,” said Wes Higgins, a past Connecticut Food Bank board chair who will chair the board of the new organization.
“With the integration of our operations, we can pool resources to better serve Connecticut residents who struggle with food insecurity,” added Foodshare board chair Beth Henry, who will be vice chair of the new entity. “We can also utilize our combined donations to provide more efficient programs, better support our member agencies, assist seniors and children in need, and collaborate with the broader community to build effective solutions to end hunger.”
The new organization will be governed by a 23-member board of directors comprising a mix of members of the outgoing Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank boards. The food banks will continue to operate at their Wallingford, Bloomfield, and Bridgeport facilities and will continue to use their existing trade names until a new name is chosen in the coming weeks.
Both food banks are members of Feeding America, the leading national anti-hunger organization.
The unification process was facilitated by Debra Hertz, the principal of The Strategy Group, a nonprofit advisory firm in Darien. Foodshare was represented by Halloran & Sage in Hartford, and Connecticut Food Bank was represented by Wiggin & Dana in New Haven.
Meanwhile, Midwest Food Bank, a nonprofit based in Normal, Illinois, has opened a food distribution center in Hartford that serves relief agencies and food pantries throughout the six New England states.