Connecticut Food Bank pitches in to help Head Start program - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut Food Bank pitches in to help Head Start program


One week later, the federal government partial shutdown trudges on and has started to become frustrating for families who rely on government services.

Action for Bridgeport Community Development program had to close its doors the day of the shutdown leaving 1,200 families without a Head Start early learning program.

"It's hard to explain to a 3-year-old why she can't go to school," said parent Eleanor McClain.

McClain was one of the parents that relied on ABCD. The program provided parents with affordable daycare and had an emphasis on learning.

The 3 to 5 year olds would get a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack every day when they attended their pre-K classes at ABCD.

While ABCD is shut down because of the budget issues in Washington, DC, the children also miss out on two healthy meals plus a snack every day.

"It's just a huge waiting game and it's very frustrating and it creates a lot of anxiety," said Monette Ferguson, the ABCD director. "It's rough, very difficult time."

So the officials with the Connecticut Food Bank called ABCD and pitched the idea of donating food on Monday. Over the weekend, the food was bagged up so each family with a Head Start student could have about two days worth of healthy food.

"I thought it was amazing, wonderful opportunity," Ferguson said.

"I'm thankful and I'm just shocked they gave this to us," said parent Chanae McNatt. "But I appreciate it and I'm very thankful."

ABCD also hopes it helps parents with the budget challenges. Some parents said they are missing work or working fewer hours because of the daycare issues. And with kids home all day, there's more grocery shopping.

"It will help out," McClain said. "She's a good eater so she's going to enjoy it."

The Connecticut Food Bank officials said they will do another food donation if the shutdown continues. 

The Connecticut Food Bank will have a virtual food drive to help get more supplies for ABCD. For more information or to donate to the Connecticut Food Bank, click here.

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